By now I'm sure you're heard about her or seen the clip on youtube... but in case you haven't- please do go and check out Susan Boyle singing "I dream a dream" on the reality TV show "Britain's Got Talent."
Susan has become an internet sensation- garnering around 47 million views on youtube in the past 6 days. (they are guesstimating based on how many times her clip has been copy and pasted and viewed beyond just the 24.5 million currently on the link above.) This is an all time high, especially for such a short period of time.
And there have been many many blogs and posts and comments about why she's so popular and inspirational and wonderful... so I won't add much to the fray except to say this:
Susan's performance has provided a bit of a moral compass to our society- and caused us all to sit up and re-evaluate our perceptions and beliefs. We viewed this woman through a filter of cynicism and disbelief: She is 'old', she is 'frumpy, she is past her prime and therefore not someone to be taken seriously. She is not successful or beautiful or talented.
Except that she is.
In this world of 'pretty young things' where youth and beauty triumph... she shows us all that we are worshiping at the wrong alter. And there can be beauty where you don't expect it. And that the definition of beauty (though we all know it - we don't 'know' it) needs to be re-defined.
After viewing this clip, we, as a society, sit here dumbfounded and shake our heads and hopefully learn from the lesson we have been given.
I think also (and I'm echoing the sentiments of many here) that she does provide that ray of sunshine in these bleak bleak times. We are living in an era where it's become common place for a shooting to occur at a nursing home, or an immigrant centre, and for that to occupy the news space for a day - before another tragedy takes over. We hear every day of jobs being cut, the unemployment rate soaring, chaos ensuing... there is not hope but fear.
And so to have something so simple and beautiful - an underdog triumphing and taking the world by storm... it gives us all hope. Look into the audience and you see those people want her to succeed. They want to be proven wrong. Because it gives them hope. It means that they too have a chance to succeed. And to triumph.
She has confidence, joy in her voice, and light shining out of her when singing. It's rare to find such a genuine article in our pre-packaged glossy world.
And she is definitely beautiful. You don't have to close your eyes to see it. You just have to open your mind.
(co-authored by jdk)