Is Susan Boyle Famous for Talent or Appearance?

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!


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  1. Barb Miller

    What I am going to say is probably not going to be very popular with those who are big fans of Susan Boyle. I am a trained musician and an avid fan of Les Miserables, where ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ is a wonderful, tragic ballad. I won’t comment on the attractiveness of Ms. Boyle, but she really didn’t sing the song all that beautifully. It was forced, not fluid, and the emotion in it came on like an anvil. If the draw is that an unattractive person can sing OK, then I will buy it. But that was not a beautiful rendition. IMHO.

  2. DVORE

    Besides her not being the best singer, let’s consider that she’s a fad. What else is a fad? Singing in general. With American Idol in its BILLIONTH season and the “… Got Talent” shows only awarding vocalists, singing is clearly a big hit. When will this fad burn out? I used to be a vocalist in my younger days, but I find this very annoying. I especially can’t stand American Idol. When Paula left, the show should have ended. Now they’ve got Ellen taking her place, which only makes matters WORSE. It wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t such a huge iconic show that 90 percent of our nation worships over God himself, but it is! I hate hearing about it, because it’s not that fantastic. They sing OTHER PEOPLE’S SONGS!!! To emphasize how absolutely pointless the show is, let me state, George Lopez is more entertaining! Anyways, I digress.

  3. Lisa

    Those last two comments hit the nail on the head. She is an ugly, mentally dull object of pity, marketed and exploited to the point of absurdity. Pity is a big marketing tool on these horrible shows, NOT whether a person can sing, or better still, write their own material and perform it well!

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