With the outbreak of shining stars produced within the confines of Britain’s Got Talent, or the likes, it poses the question: Just why are these people special?
Throughout the years of these shows hitting our televisions, we’ve seen so many performers come through and fail. Is it because of their performing abilities, the quality and training of their voice, or is it simply because they don’t fit the grade of personality or appearance?
The most obvious of these cases would be Susan Boyle. The charming woman appeared on the show a few weeks previous, looking nervous and jittery. Her personality was quirky and likeable, but her appearance didn’t fit the mold of the usual types we see on these programs. No, she wasn’t the barbie types, or the belly dancer type, and probably wouldn’t appear in a magazine. Unfortunately, because of her appearance, no one took her seriously until her magnificent voice astounded the world and made her a Youtube sensation. Her age, her bushy eyebrows and her larger than a 20 year old anorexic frame made her into a joke until she proved everyone wrong.
My point is, why do we place so much emphasis on appearance before we ever let someone justify their talents? Didn’t your mother always say not to judge a book by its cover?
Even the judges admitted they were surprised considering her appearance, that such a quality of voice was impressive. If you think back to past years, not only on Britain’s Got Talent, but almost every single talent show we watch, there is always a character whose voice or talent exceeds their beauty.
Many seasons ago on Australian Idol, a contestant named Paulini was ridiculed for her dress sense in conjunction with her body shape. The infamously nasty judge Dicko, told her to lose weight or pick a better dress. And in all honesty: Why does it matter?
This leads me to believe that we place more emphasis on the actual product, rather than the quality of the ingredients. When it comes to the music industry, my studies have always lead me to believe that there is a package involved. If you’re a pop star, you need to be bankable. Pretty so that the girls look up to you, and the boys want to be you. Talented enough that you can sell the look, as well as the other inclusions of dancing and acting.
These package deals have cemented an unrealistic image in our heads for every other singer we view. We look at someone and go ‘Aw yeah, they’re really pretty, they can dance. Oh they can sing too, great.’ And that’s just the accepted level of performance. This mindset has lead us to believe that things are more impressive than they actually are.
Think back to Susan Boyle’s performance again. If she was slightly younger, slightly thinner, and was more ‘polished’ like the other stars we see, do you really think she would be where she is now? You would just say ‘good job’ and move on. She would not have become the star she is, if she fit into that preconceived notion we’ve all adopted.
Unfortunately, we have been brainwashed. Susan Boyle, I do give you kudos. What you did took extraordinary strength and courage, and I certainly could not have done that myself. However; I do feel sorry for you and the attention you’re gaining just by your appearance. I hope one day people look past that and just accept your talent and who you are, and not compare it to what you’re not.