Wednesday, April 15, 2009
This video has gone viral*, so you've probably seen it already. If you haven't, watch it now.
If you have, maybe you had the same reaction to it that I did. Watching this video made me bawl. Not a polite little trickle of tears but a full-blown sobbing meltdown.
It's not just because Susan Boyle has an amazing voice, though she does. It's not just because the poshly hateful judges on the U.K.'s version of American Idol got their expectations upset, though they did, and I was thrilled about it.
It's because this video highlights--painfully, vividly, undeniably--just how far our obsession with appearance extends, and how much we punish one another and ourselves for how we look.
Watching this reminded me all too viscerally of how I felt about myself as a teenager and young woman: Unattractive, and ashamed of it. Hideous outside and, therefore, inside too. I've grown up since then, thank goodness. I've made peace with myself both inside and out. I no longer feel hideously unattractive (though there are moments). Most of all, I think--I hope--I've learned to temper my own judgmentalism about other people based on how they look.
I cried partly in awe of Susan Boyle's sassy spirit. She didn't creep onto that stage; she took it over. I love how she blows kisses at the audience on her way out--she might have given them all the finger, but she's much classier than that.
Do yourself a favor. Give this a look. Think about it.
*Normally I would have embedded the video, but YouTube is preventing it from being embedded. I wonder why.