We all know who Susan Boyle is. If you don’t, then you need to crawl out from your bomb shelter and start living in the new millennium! She’s that strangely unattractive British woman who got big on Britain’s Got Talent. She’s been pretty famous for a while now, and I think it’s time we ask ourselves “why?”
Sure, I’ll admit, her voice isn’t bad, but it’s certainly nothing to die for. The only reason she’s really famous is because she’s unattractive. Face it: everyone saw an unattractive person do something impressive, and they couldn’t believe it. People thought, “Who knew a weird-looking person like that could sing well?” And that’s why she’s so famous. People started feeling good about themselves for finding something good in her. The truth is, a lot of weird-looking people can do and have done cool stuff. Did we all forget Janis Joplin? She was equally unattractive but had a voice people loved to hear. Of course, back then you didn’t have to be attractive. As long as people liked what they heard on the radio, it was all good.
But these days, in the twenty-first century, I’m surprised to see someone like Boyle singing in front of a crowd full of fans – especially on television. I didn’t think she’d make anything of herself outside of Britain’s Got Talent, but I was wrong. How can she be expected to stand a chance with the competition we see in magazines like US Weekly, on channels like E! Entertainment, or on any other pop-culture media? Apparently, Susan Boyle is in a genre of her own.
Why did the world “fall in love” with Susan Boyle? Because they forced themselves to do so. People tried so hard to convince themselves she wasn’t all that bad, and they succeeded. People subconsciously thought (and still think): “If she’s acceptable, then I must be ridiculously cool.” Then, Susan Boyle starts getting nice things, and so begins the “keeping up with the Jones” factor.
What about the advertising aspect of Susan Boyle? Companies started giving her free clothing and merchandise to carry around with her because they wanted to promote their businesses. Once she got makeovers and walked city streets in brand name attire, then people started thinking that the attire made her look better. Then people had to buy those same articles of clothing so they could continue to feel better than her. The funny part is that it’s not just the clothing – she also brushed her hair, started using some ChapStick, and threw on a bit of foundation and blush.
So now we see that the way Susan Boyle was marketed was all a huge conspiracy to get consumers to buy high-end apparel items and start blowing their money on foundation and ChapStick. It’s crazy what kinds of things can happen when you market your brand correctly, and this just goes to show us that it’s all about putting your brand where people are looking.
Nonetheless, back to Boyle. She recently released her debut album, “I Dreamed a Dream”, which sold 701,000 copies in America alone. It was the best opening for a female artist’s debut album in US history. If some ordinary average-looking person could sing like that, do you think they would sell the same number of albums? I think not! She’s got a niche, and that niche is her looks. That is why she’s so famous, even to this day. It sends the same message to us as any attractive person becoming famous, and that message is that appearances matter!