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Monday, 20 April 2009

My Web Wanderings (weekly)

  • tags: True beauty

    • Susan Boyle's story is a parable of our age. She is a singer of enormous talent, who cared for her widowed mother until she died two years ago. Susan's is a combination of ability and virtue that deserves congratulation.

      So how come she was treated as a laughing stock when she walked on stage for the opening heat of Britain's Got Talent 2009 on Saturday night?

    • The answer is that only the pretty are expected to achieve. Not only do you have to be physically appealing to deserve fame; it seems you now have to be good-looking to merit everyday common respect. If, like Susan (and like millions more), you are plump, middle-aged and too poor or too unworldly to follow fashion or have a good hairdresser, you are a non-person.
    • Yet why shouldn't she sound wonderful? Not every great singer looks like Katherine Jenkins. Edith Piaf would never have been chosen to strut a catwalk. Nor would Nina Simone, nor Ella Fitzgerald. As for Pavarotti
      But then ridicule is nothing new in Susan Boyle's life. She is a veteran of abuse. She was starved of oxygen at birth and has learning difficulties as a result. At school she was slow and had frizzy hair. She was bullied, mostly verbally. She told one newspaper that her classmates' jibes left behind the kind of scars that don't heal.
    • She didn't have boyfriends, is a stranger to romance and has never been kissed. "Shame," she said. Singing was her life-raft.

      She lived with her parents in a
      four-bedroom council house and, when her father died a decade ago, she cared for her mother and sang in the church choir.

    • She wasn't the glamorous type - and being a carer isn't a glamorous life, as the hundreds of thousands who do that most valuable of jobs will testify
    • Carers don't often get invited to sparkling dinner parties or glitzy receptions, so smart clothes rarely make it off the hanger.

      Then, when a special occasion comes along, they might reach, as Susan did, for the frock they bought for a nephew's wedding. They might, as she did, compound the felony of choosing a colour at odds with her skin tone and an unflattering shape with home-chopped hair, bushy eyebrows and a face without a hint of make-up. But it is often evidence of a life lived selflessly; of a person so focused on the needs of another that they have lost sight of themselves. Is that a cause for derision or a reason for congratulation? Would her time have been better spent slimming and exercising, plucking and waxing, bleaching and botoxing? Would that have made her voice any sweeter?

    • Susan is a reminder that it's time we all looked a little deeper. She has lived an obscure but important life. She has been a companionable and caring daughter. It's people like her who are the unseen glue in society; the ones who day in and day out put themselves last. They make this country civilised and they deserve acknowledgement and respect.

      Susan has been forgiven her looks and been given respect because of her talent. She should always have received it because of the calibre of her character.

  • It's good to see the value of stay at home mums being recognised even if it is only from a financial point of view.

    tags: Finance, Parenting

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.


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