Susan Boyle breaks stereotypes of shallowness

Channel of a Subliminal Message

 Susan Boyle being interviewed -  Pic by   LorenzoDalberto/Deadline  from the public photo service of Flickr. com
Susan Boyle being interviewed - Pic by LorenzoDalberto/Deadline from the public photo service of Flickr. com

Hitting a collective raw nerve

Being forty-seven years old with windblown hair, plump, alone with just a cat for a companion and telling an audience that she has never been kissed in her life is a perfect package for harsh judgment and exclusion in the societies that we know. Before Susan Boyle opened her mouth for the first note of “I dreamed the dream” from Les Miserables, the moment was a glimpse of how her life was, before she was on the Britain’s Got Talent stage. Alone. Yes, with Pebbles, her cat. The BGT moment was a microcosm of how society defines social acceptability. It is as if the right to be loved is reserved only for the young and the wealthy. It is as if an unemployed woman has no right to tell the world about her dreams. The sneers of the audience and the suppressed laughter of Piers, Amanda and Simon before Susan sang her first line was a testimony to how mainstream society generally views a package like Susan walking on BGT stage and announcing her dream.

There is another side in people though – that side that is perfect. That perfect side is where the human spirit dwells. The global wave of interest in the Susan Boyle story is a manifestation of every person’s perfect side wanting to connect with the human spirit. Susan Boyle as an unemployed woman in the context of the global financial crisis puts across a subliminal message of solidarity. Each person who is unemployed or is supporting unemployed people has a Susan Boyle angst and longing inside himself or herself. The coming of Susan Boyle at the world stage is a reminder that people’s original nature is to connect with people. Compassion, humility, tolerance, acceptance and respect as society’s higher values came to the fore when Susan Boyle was on the BGT stage for the first time.

One justification for the current 47 million views of Susan Boyle in You Tube is the internet itself. It is there and people will necessarily go to the internet. But even with the internet being within reach if there is no reason for people to click the mouse, we cannot expect a staggering number of views. Why people get curious to click on the news is because the Susan Boyle story is a headline story. Why it is a headline story is because Susan Boyle blew up a stereotype at the BGT auditorium. There was no other way but for stereotypes to bow to talent.

There are moments when a force greater than society’s collective arrogance and shallowness just come unbidden. Susan Boyle was the channel of that irresistible force that suddenly told people that to be forty-seven and dreaming to be a professional singer is a birthright. Life can start at 90 or at any age if one hasn't arrived with one’s dream at an earlier time. To be forty-seven and telling the world that you have never been kissed wouldn’t have put Susan in a laughing stock status if respect, tolerance and compassion were the stuff that the world society was made of. Painfully, we as a human society has yet to evolve towards our higher selves. What if Susan’s voice was not the angelic one that we heard? Wouldn’t she have the right to express herself as a woman without being sneered at?

The Susan Boyle story is a woman’s story, not just a musical event. A woman of forty-seven and having never arrived at the music scene because of never having the right packaging at her command – this is the stuff that most women are made of – the stuff of marginalization, toil and sacrifice. To be 47 when people just adore youth and physical beauty is to get strangled by the age divide. Susan’s mother must have intuitively known that all that it would take for her daughter to reach her dream was to hang on and be unafraid. Even Susan’s choice of “I dream the dream of days gone by” brought goose bumps if not tears to most televiewers. Has Susan Boyle’s choice of that song for her BGT performance been a subliminal choice? Of course, only Susan Boyle would know how to respond to this question. Intuitively, we humans have a soft side for people who try hard. But society has come to a point when the assertion of the right brain has been drowned by the left brain. Among indigenous peoples all over the world, we would read about the ancients giving so much value to intuition which is a right brain function. As soon as societies started to give a lot of focus on the left brain as a mark of human achievement, indifference to people’s feelings became a trend. It is only in recent years that the concept of emotional intelligence has gotten a front seat again.

The reaction of the BGT audience, including those of the judges, to Susan Boyle’s responses to the interview questions before the actual performance, whether consciously or unconsciously, were eloquent microcosms of how most societies view women and aging. Why there is a growing interest in Susan Boyle’s videos at You Tube tells us that all of us are looking for the perfect side in ourselves and in people. But the problem is we are blocked by a mass conditioning that works in our mind every second of our lives – the conditioning that society has for “good packaging.” Susan Boyle just smashed off all those stereotypes.

This face keeps a song for the world

Each face is unique. Each face is beautiful. It is just our eyes that have embraced blindness as a way of life.
Each face is unique. Each face is beautiful. It is just our eyes that have embraced blindness as a way of life.

Stereotypes cannot but vow to talent.

Note: At the moment, embedding the You Tube videos on Susan Boyle, according to You Tube, has been disabled by request. Kindly go to You Tube directly to watch the Susan Boyle videos

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Comments 48 comments

nikhilsukumar profile image

nikhilsukumar 20 months ago from Bangalore

Susan Boyle has broken all the barriers using talent. Thank you for this wonderful idea through your article. Excellent article to boost your mind and body. Way to go!


Coolmon2009 profile image

Coolmon2009 6 years ago from Texas, USA

I am happy for Susan Boyle. It should be about the heart of a person not the outward appearance. Good Hub!


Francia 7 years ago

Hi selfometer,

Thanks for dropping by and leaving a generous comment!


selfometer profile image

selfometer 7 years ago

You describe the event perfectly! Well done!


franciaonline profile image

franciaonline 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi Brenda,

I have been looking forward really to a Susan Boyle victory in the BGT finals. But two days ago, I came across a news article saying that Susan Boyle was dropping out of the show because she couldn't cope with the sudden pressures of her celebrity status. Sad! I still hope she changes her mind and claim her rightful place in the music world.


franciaonline profile image

franciaonline 7 years ago from Philippines Author


franciaonline profile image

franciaonline 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi Iphigenia,

Susan Boyle is indeed an inspiring story. There's a sad update however which I came across two days ago - that she is dropping out from the BGT show. Reason: She cannot cope with the sudden celebrity status which carries with it a lot of pressures. In our hearts, let's just say "Good luck" to her.


\Brenda Scully 7 years ago

You are great at putting into words what everyone feels, we will be watching her tomorrow night along with the children that have got through tonight, apparantly the whole world is watching her...


Iphigenia 7 years ago

Susan's is indeed an inspring story - but sadly for her I think that she may well get that eyebrow wax that many thought she needed on first viewing. Not that there's anything wrong with an eyebrow wax - but there is something dreadful happening when people change aspects of themselves for others. If Susan changes her appearace she will, without meaning, confirm all those prejudices that were felt when she first appeared.


franciaonline profile image

franciaonline 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi newsworthy,

Hmmm, it's refreshing to read your comments! Thanks for leaving your soul-nourishing thoughts.


newsworthy 7 years ago

Well written article Francia. I agree with your statement on moments, when a force greater then society's arrogance shines light on dignity.

From time to time, I beleive we are given these reminders by a higher power, in order to rekindle and revisit the original makeup of the human soul.

Most of us start life with tender hearts and loving care for others. It is mankind's own nurturing and cultivation of how-to-get-what-you-need in the fastest, easiest, scheme of things, that we loose sight of what's important.

Susan Boyle stepping out to sing to us is a refreshing testimony of simplicity and goodness. Now that it was revealed and laid open to us by the industry, we will watch,wait, buy and see what happens.

I am by far a talent scout, but maybe they should come south for more good voices.


franciaonline profile image

franciaonline 7 years ago from Philippines Author

MagicStarER,

It's good to know that you like this article. Thanks for your generous comment!


MagicStarER profile image

MagicStarER 7 years ago from Western Kentucky

What a great article, I learned a lot from this. Thank you for sharing! :)


MagicStarER profile image

MagicStarER 7 years ago from Western Kentucky

What a great article, I learned a lot from this. Thank you for sharing! :)


franciaonline profile image

franciaonline 7 years ago from Philippines Author

sun goddess,

Yes, Susan Boyle challenges the assumptions and stereotypes that we too are up against.

How nice of you to visit my page. Thanks.


franciaonline profile image

franciaonline 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Shameshow,

Susan Boyle is a special person.

Thanks for leaving an inspiring comment.


sun goddess profile image

sun goddess 7 years ago from davao city, philippines

very well thought of. I've never heard her sing before so I checked her out in youtube to see what the ruckus is about (And I was hoping Samantha wasn't all too blunt in stating how the audience "was against her"). And to be honest, between her and Octomom, I think her story is far more inspiring and endearing. I think this world needs to get over the stereotypes and biases... And I think everyone who criticizes her for selling short just because she rewarded herself with a makeover should get over themselves.


ShameShow profile image

ShameShow 7 years ago from Los Angeles

Susan Boyle became everyones hero. I cried when I saw it, because she faced the ugly we feel when we look at society. She said "Yes" when everyone else said "No." I am indebted to her spirit and God bless her great talent, all of us needed that.


franciaonline profile image

franciaonline 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi Lisa HW,

You're right. Thanks for leaving a comment!


Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 7 years ago from Massachusetts

It's one thing, in this world, when someone's looks matter in something like a "Miss Teen USA" pageant, or to be a model in a high-fashion magazine.  It's another that so many people place so many expectations of "looks" or at least "polished" looks when it comes to endeavors like singing, politics, or anything else where looks just shouldn't matter.  (Besides, if anyone really considered the difference in the "acceptable looks" of some "stars" and "unacceptable" looks of anyone else, much of the time it's all a matter of who has the high-priced hairdressers, stylists, make-up artists, and plastic surgeons.)


franciaonline profile image

franciaonline 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Dink96,

Like you, I believe Susan will go far on her talent alone. She was a surprise to the world because she is herself.But her context is different now. There must be pressures all around


franciaonline profile image

franciaonline 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Dink96,

Like you, I believe Susan will go far on her talent alone. She was a surprise to the world because she is herself.But her context is different now. There must be pressures all around


Dink96 profile image

Dink96 7 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

I have to admit, when I first saw a picture of her, I thought to myself, "That gal needs a good eyebrow wax!" I heard her share her dream with the judges, and then she started to sing! What an amazing voice. This morning I picked up the paper to read that she is being criticized for having her hair styled and having some waxing done at a local hairdresser in her village for the princely sum of around $50. If she were a man, I doubt there would be an article in any paper anywhere. I believe she will go far on her talent alone and hope that she never loses her charm in the process. Bravo, Susan!!


Robin 7 years ago

Susan is an inspiration!


franciaonline profile image

franciaonline 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Cris, as always, thanks for your encouraging comment whenever you visit my page. You yourself are a champion of the beautiful and true! May our tribe increase!


franciaonline profile image

franciaonline 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Cris, as always, thanks for your encouraging comment whenever you visit my page. You yourself are a champion of the beautiful and true! May our tribe increase!


franciaonline profile image

franciaonline 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi marinealways24,

Thanks for your generous comment. It's nice that you also wrote a hub on Susan boyle! I just visited your page.


Cris A profile image

Cris A 7 years ago from Manila, Philippines

France

I applaud you for your persistent championing of what is truly beautiful and true. Down with the stereotypes and social biases! Let Ms Boyle's voice resound in all the corners of the world and man's shallow mind! Thanks for sharing and be blessed always. :D


marinealways24 profile image

marinealways24 7 years ago

Excellent article from an excellent mind. I also wrote an article about the susan boyle woman. http://hubpages.com/hub/Susan-Boyle-Society

You are truly to be appreciated for bringing light to this matter of how society chooses to judge. Thank You.


franciaonline profile image

franciaonline 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi gr8archer45,

Thanks for your insight!


gr8archer45 profile image

gr8archer45 7 years ago from Pakistan

As always a superb hub Francia!

Susan boyle truly cements the fact that looks don't always matter rather what the person really is from inside,is most important. A plain face often owns a heart of gold.

Her performance left the viewers spell bound & emotional. I'm sure people will remember her for a long time.


franciaonline profile image

franciaonline 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi C.S. Alexis,

Thanks for dropping by and leaving a generous comment.


C.S.Alexis profile image

C.S.Alexis 7 years ago from NW Indiana

How very perfect you put this very truth to words. Thank you for sharing your insight. Thumbs up for this hub.


franciaonline profile image

franciaonline 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi waynet,

Exactly. Susan proved the audience wrong. Indeed, it's a humane act to suspend judgment when someone who doesn't meet our "standards". Thanks for dropping by.


franciaonline profile image

franciaonline 7 years ago from Philippines Author

 


franciaonline profile image

franciaonline 7 years ago from Philippines Author

John Z, thank you for dropping by and leaving a generous comment!


waynet profile image

waynet 7 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

That show is a perfect example of normal everyday people who have extraordinary talent and being allowed to shine just like Susan did and the shock on everyones faces just made them look slightly ridiculous at the thought of judging her on first impressions.

Long may Susan reign because she deserves it!


John Z profile image

John Z 7 years ago from Midwest

I think your article is very well written and thought out. I had just posted my article on this very same subject and was perusing the front page when I saw yours. Your article added so much more emotion and texture to the whole experience. Very nice job!

John Z.


franciaonline profile image

franciaonline 7 years ago from Philippines Author

 


franciaonline profile image

franciaonline 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi brad41,

Yes, it was very evident at the start that the audience didn't like Susan. This Scottish woman's story is indeed a wake up call to all of us.

Thanks for leaving an important insight.


franciaonline profile image

franciaonline 7 years ago from Philippines Author

 


franciaonline profile image

franciaonline 7 years ago from Philippines Author

 


franciaonline profile image

franciaonline 7 years ago from Philippines Author


franciaonline profile image

franciaonline 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi Kelley Eidem,

Your idea of that universal place inside us where love resides is indeed that part of the self where love is - where perfection is. Susan's singing was able to take us to that part of us that is love.

Thanks Kelley for your edifying comment.


brad4l profile image

brad4l 7 years ago from USA

Her performance really was amazing, especially after watching the audience, who was quite obviously judging her solely by her looks/accent. I think it serves as a powerful reminder of how important it is to judge people by their actions, instead only superficially.


Kelley Eidem profile image

Kelley Eidem 7 years ago from Panama City, FL

Like million of others, the Susan Boyle story has touched my heart. Here's my experience of it.

By the time we reach adulthood, there is a universal experience that all of us have lived through. It's called suffering. All of us have dreamed a dream that didn't come true.

It doesn't matter if it's because of our looks, our talents, or whatever...everyone gets crushed, at least for a time, along the way. This is what brings our yearning to triumph once again.

In Susan Boyle it is easy to see our own disappointments. And in her triumph, we awaken in ourselves a vicarious feeling of triumph for her...and in ourselves...as her voices pierces and awakens that universal place inside us where love resides.

I'm reminded of the story of the "prodigal son." As a parable, the point of the story isn't about a young man. It's about losing our way and finding our way home to where the love is.

In Susan's case, she didn't run away from 'home' but was pushed away. Finally, we have let her return. And in letting her return we are the ones who have found our way home - that is, we've found our way to where love resides.

The best to you.

Kelley Eidem

Togther we can cure cancer - one person at a time!


franciaonline profile image

franciaonline 7 years ago from Philippines Author

 

Hi Elena,

 As always, I feel honored when friends drop by and leave a thoughtful comment. I know, when you drop by it is not a perfunctory act LOL! I'm referring to one of your hubs - "Instant Gratification"- LOL!

After clicking the link of the headline news at Yahoo on April 16, I could not but click for more - i.e. I searched for West Lothian, Scotland - the economic and socio-cultural activities there to understand the environment of Susan Boyle. I also searched for Elaine Page's videos and listened to her rendition of "I dream the dream of days gone by". One's preference for an interpretation of a song can be very subjective so I understand myself when I say I found Susan Boyle's rendition of "I dream the dream..." really good. I am not saying that Susan sings better than Elaine. I am just saying that I love listening to Susan. Very powerful voice!I have watched Susan Boyle's video countless times the past few days. Her singing moves me every time I listen to her.

 


Elena. profile image

Elena. 7 years ago from Madrid

Francia, I'd never heard of Susan Boyle before, I found this article really touching and inspiring, my heart goes out to Susan for her story, and I thank you for bringing this important subject to the fore. I can't help but feel bad about judging many a book by its cover, myself, I suppose it's like you say, society is "programmed" this way in the present. Still, I appreciate that I can still think about the topic, have a hard look at myself and reconsider my thoughts when it comes to the Susan Boyles of the world.

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