A friend of mine just tweeted: “Susan Boyle gets a makeover. At last.” And then linked to this article. It’s a piece of crap, for many reasons. But I want this to be a short post with one main point, so I’m only going to highlight the most important thing. The article talks about how Susan Boyle has now died her hair, and got new, supposedly more fashionable, clothes.
“Susan Boyle, the frumpy “Britain’s Got Talent” sensation, has had a makeover. Boyle, 47, dyed her tangled gray hair a rich brown, and ditched her “drab dresses” for more fashionable attire. It’s heartwarming to see that having the opportunity to share her “beautiful voice” with millions has given Boyle new enthusiasm for life.” [emphasis mine]
When exactly did changing your looks to conform more to society’s standards of beauty become the same as a “new enthusiasm for life”? I’m not faulting Susan Boyle if she felt pressure to change her looks. Lord knows no one can talk about her WITHOUT talking about her looks. But I am faulting society for basing a woman’s worth, or at least part of it, on her looks. It doesn’t matter, apparently, how talented you are, unless you at least somewhat fit the description of what society thinks a woman should look like. No one is talking about Susan Boyle’s voice without simultaneously talking about her looks and how “frumpy” or “drab” she is. It’s sending the message that her talent isn’t worth anything unless she were better looking.
I know I’m going to get at least a couple comments saying, but it’s not bad to be more attractive if she wanted to update her look. No, it’s not. But it is bad that everyone is judging Susan Boyle – and her worth – based in part on her looks, rather than JUST on her talent. Her looks shouldn’t matter, people.