Forums > Personal > It wasn't singer Susan Boyle who was ugly on Britain's Got Talent

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Yara user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 28 Apr 09, 10:26 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I found it interesting, well-written and quite funny, I must say. I had never read anything by this journalist. I hope you enjoy it too. Take care you all. 

"Guardian, Thursday, 16 april, 2009
by Tanya Gold
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/apr/16/britains-got-talent-susan-boyle

It wasn't singer Susan Boyle who was ugly on Britain's Got Talent so much as our reaction to her

Is Susan Boyle ugly? Or are we? On Saturday night she stood on the stage in Britain's Got Talent; small and rather chubby, with a squashed face, unruly teeth and unkempt hair. She wore a gold lace dress, which made her look like a piece of pork sitting on a doily. Interviewed by Ant and Dec beforehand, she told them that she is
unemployed, single, lives with a cat called Pebbles and has never been kissed. Susan then walked out to chatter, giggling, and a long and unpleasant wolf whistle.

Why are we so shocked when "ugly" women can do things, rather than sitting at home weeping and wishing they were somebody else? Men are allowed to be ugly and talented. Alan Sugar looks like a burst bag of flour. Gordon Ramsay has a dried-up riverbed for a face. Justin Lee Collins looks like Cousin It from The Addams Family. Graham Norton is a baboon in mascara. I could go on. But a woman has to have the bright, empty beauty of a toy - or get off the screen. We don't want to look at you. Except on the news, where you can weep because some awful personal tragedy has befallen you.

Simon Cowell, now buffed to the sheen of an ornamental pebble, asked this strange creature, this alien, how old she was. "I'm nearly 47," she said. Simon rolled his eyes until they threatened to roll out of his head, down the aisle and out into street. "But that's only one side of me," Susan added, and wiggled her hips. The camera cut to the other male judge, Piers Morgan, who winced. Didn't Susan know she was not supposed to be sexual? The audience's reaction was equally disgusting. They giggled with embarrassment, and when Susan said she wanted to be a professional singer, the camera spun to a young girl, who seemed to be at least half mascara.

She gave an "As if!" squeak and smirked. Amanda Holden, the female judge, a woman with improbably raised eyebrows and snail trails of Botox over her perfectly smooth face, chose neutrality. And then Susan sang. She stood with her feet apart, like a Scottish Edith Piaf, and very slowly began to sing Les Miserables' I Dreamed A Dream. It was wonderful.

The judges were astonished. They gasped, they gaped, they clapped. They looked almost ashamed. I was briefly worried that Simon might stab himself with a pencil, and mutter, "Et tu, Piers, for we have wronged Susan in thinking that because she is a munter, she is entirely useless." How could they have misjudged her, they gesticulated. But how could they not? No makeup? Bad teeth? Funny hair? Is she insane, this sad little Scottish spinster, beloved only of Pebbles the Cat?

When Susan had finished singing, and Piers had finished gasping, he said this. It was a comment of incredible spite. "When you stood there with that cheeky grin and said, 'I want to be like Elaine Paige', everyone was laughing at you. No one is laughing now." And it was over to Amanda Holden, a woman most notable for playing a psychotic hairdresser in the Manchester hair-extensions saga Cutting It. "I am so thrilled," said Amanda, "because I know that everybody was against you." "Everybody was against you," she said, as if Susan might have been hanged for her presumption. Why? Can't "ugly" people dream, you flat-packed, hair-ironed, over-plucked monstrous fool?

I know what you will say. You will say that Paul Potts, the fat opera singer with the equally squashed face who won Britain's Got Talent in 2007, had just as hard a time at his first audition. I looked it up on YouTube. He did not. "I wasn't expecting that," said Simon to Paul. "Neither was I," said Amanda. "You have an incredible voice," said Piers. And that was it. No laughter, or invitations to paranoia, or mocking wolf-whistles, or smirking, or derision.

We see this all the time in popular culture. Do you ever stare at the TV and wonder where the next generation of Judi Denchs and Juliet Stevensons have gone? Have they fallen down a Rada wormhole? Yes. They're not there, because they aren't pretty enough to get airtime. This lust for homogeneity in female beauty means that when someone who doesn't resemble a diagram in a plastic surgeon's office steps up to the microphone, people fall about and treat us to despicable sub-John Gielgud gestures of amazement.

Susan will probably win Britain's Got Talent. She will be the little munter that could sing, served up for the British public every Saturday night. Look! It's "ugly"! It sings! And I know that we think that this will make us better people. But Susan Boyle will be the freakish exception that makes the rule. By raising this Susan up, we will forgive ourselves for grinding every other Susan into the dust. It will be a very partial and poisoned redemption. Because Britain's Got Malice. Sing, Susan, sing - to an ugly crowd that doesn't deserve you.

• This week Tanya watched Atomic Train, a 1999 movie masterpiece about a runaway train carrying nuclear material somewhere near Denver: "Wally, you're not a captain. You don't go down with the ship." "I've been living on trains for 33 years. Give me one good reason why I shouldn't die on one." She read the Qur'an in Arabic, a language she does not understand."


Yara
Freya is quietly judging you. user not visiting Queenzone.com
Meh.
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Posted: 28 Apr 09, 16:28 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

This is what I've been saying from the beginning, but I got called naive and idealistic.*rolls eyes*

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Posted: 28 Apr 09, 19:15 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



Freya is quietly judging you. wrote:

This is what I've been saying from the beginning, but I got called naive and idealistic.*rolls eyes*
as my old mother used to say:
"damned if you do,damned if you dont"









isnt innuendo an italian suppository?

im gonna ride the wild wind!

its_a_hard_life wrote:you nutcase you rule!

joxer replies: but in a nice way :-]

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Posted: 29 Apr 09, 00:39 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hi, Freya. I had never heard of this journalist and, although I disagree with some of what she writes, I've found her writting engaging, interesting, thought-provoking and amusing. Ok, I haven't read much of what she wrote, and she's been writting for a long time, but the few articles I read I really enjoyed. 

I fully agree with her on this one, though - no reservations whatsoever. She was on spot. And, yes, that was your point too - it's always nice to read what some of you guys write here. I learn a lot.

I hope you're doing fine. Take care and have a nice wednesday!



Yara
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Posted: 29 Apr 09, 00:44 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



Freya is quietly judging you. wrote:

This is what I've been saying from the beginning, but I got called naive and idealistic.*rolls eyes*

Same.








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Posted: 29 Apr 09, 05:23 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Isn't it telling that the author calls Paul Potts  a fat opera singer with an "equally squashed face" without thinking twice? What's wrong with Paul Pott' s face - he looks like most people in the streets. The author is equally subject to the brainwash by TV and publicized opinion like the overwhelming majority of people she criticizes in the article.


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Posted: 29 Apr 09, 21:44 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The author is as about as insightful as a gob stopper.

That's why I love the internet; they'll publish just about anyone...


"Your not funny, your not a good musician, theres a difference between being funny and being an idiot, you obviously being the latter" - Dave R Fuller
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Posted: 29 Apr 09, 21:54 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



YourValentine wrote:

Isn't it telling that the author calls Paul Potts  a fat opera singer with an "equally squashed face" without thinking twice? What's wrong with Paul Pott' s face - he looks like most people in the streets. The author is equally subject to the brainwash by TV and publicized opinion like the overwhelming majority of people she criticizes in the article.

Hi, YV!

Thanks for the feedback on the article. I was reading it again, and ouch!, I guess you're right: she ends up doing exactly what she claims to be fighting against! :op

Thanks a lot for the reply and take care!!!

Yara








Yara
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Posted: 29 Apr 09, 22:10 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



Zebonka12 wrote:

The author is as about as insightful as a gob stopper.

That's why I love the internet; they'll publish just about anyone...

Hi, Z12!

How are you? I hope you're doing fine.

Thanks a lot for commenting on the article and sharing your thoughts about the writer. Yes, I think you're right: the Internet makes it possible for people from very different background and with varying talents to make themselves...read, in this case. :-)

I regard her as a person who has a talent for communicating simple thoughts or ideas in an amusing, accessible manner.

I guess it all depends on the public the writer is intent on reaching.

I don't have neither the knowledge nor the cultural background or the thoughtfulness to understand and follow essays or articles by more serious, insightful journalists. I just don't get it: I read it and I don't understand it, I'm not part of the writer's targeted audience. In her case, though, even if she's not that insightful, she at least succeeds in presenting some thoughts or debates in a more amusing, accessible way; it works for me as an introduction to a certain discussion or subject.

A rudimentary introduction, for sure, but the kind of which I can relate to and understand. :op

Of course it's probably done at the expense of depth - in order to reach more people, and to reach people like myself, in all honesty, who have a hard time understanding what's been discussed and, what's worse, writting sentences which make sense in English, it's very likely that the issues have to be simplified or even dumbed down, if you want.

It works for me as an introduction to some discussions and as an amusing way of improving my English a bit.

I have no talent at all for humanities, and I wouldn't be able to follow more in-depth articles by more thoughtful writers, let alone in English!

I can't do it in Portuguese! :op

Anyway, it's always great to read the feedback of you guys and know what you think.

Thank you, again, and take care. I hope you're doing fine!

Yara









Yara
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Posted: 30 Apr 09, 01:24 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Well if you look at it as light entertainment then it's fine.  I'd hate to judge this writer as a journalist though, because they won't compare favourably.


"Your not funny, your not a good musician, theres a difference between being funny and being an idiot, you obviously being the latter" - Dave R Fuller
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Posted: 30 Apr 09, 06:00 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Yara, I think the author means well but judging people by their looks is almost in everybody's blood these days. We are showered (terrorized, in fact!!) with pictures of people who all look the same . For example, we forget that a skinny woman usally has small breasts because today skinny women have huge fake breasts, so the joke is no longer on the Barbie doll but on girls and women who choose to spend their lives in their natural body..... Those were the days when Freddie Mercury showed his hairy breast and "unruly teeth" unashamed on stage and nobody asked him to "get waxed" :-)




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Posted: 01 May 09, 14:17 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



YourValentine wrote:

Yara, I think the author means well but judging people by their looks is almost in everybody's blood these days. We are showered (terrorized, in fact!!) with pictures of people who all look the same . For example, we forget that a skinny woman usally has small breasts because today skinny women have huge fake breasts, so the joke is no longer on the Barbie doll but on girls and women who choose to spend their lives in their natural body..... Those were the days when Freddie Mercury showed his hairy breast and "unruly teeth" unashamed on stage and nobody asked him to "get waxed" :-)


Hi, YV!

Thanks for the reply again. : -) Great to have the feedback of you guys, I'm thankful to Zebonka12 too. I like reading and it's great to read, but isn't it much more fun when we can share this with other people? It's much more fun and helpful, I guess. 

So thank you guys again!




Yara