Monday, April 20, 2009
The Beauty Within
I'm absolutely positive that, by now, you've seen the segment of "Britain's Got Talent" featuring Susan Boyle. It was pure and classic television and one of those moments that will surely go down in history. I can't say I wasn't moved by the segment. I had the feeling that I was watching the tail end of a crowd pleasing movie and I'm already betting that a Susan Boyle life story movie (probably entitled, "I Dreamed a Dream") is on it's way to being green lighted.
It is strange to me that so much is being made of her appearance than anything else. There is a definite angle here; average looking middle aged (47) woman with voice of an angel makes good, but really, does she look all that bad? No. Of course not. She looks like most women her age. Seriously. If you don't believe so, you're one of the billions of people who have watched so many TV programs and movies that you think the beautiful people are the majority. Even most of the beautiful people out there aren't... without help.
Beauty is rare, plain and simple. It is. If it weren't there wouldn't be a need for makeup and hair products. A person who can look beautiful without any external help from rise to rest is indeed a four leaf clover. Most people simply aren't beautiful and help is needed to achieve a certain illusion.
The whole situation is reminding me of 2 films that I've recently watched. One is from South Korea and the other is Japanese. The former of the two is entitled "200 Pounds Beauty" and concerns a morbidly obese woman, Kang Han-na, with an incredible singing voice. She provides the singing vocals for a beautiful Pop Star who lip syncs to Han-na onstage, while Han-na sings from underneath the stage. Han-na blackmails a plastic surgeon to do extensive work on her and she becomes "Jenny" a beautiful pop star in her own right.
The other film, Japan's "The Handsome Suit", concerns an unsightly man who runs a local restaurant. Women are regularly repelled by him and he's never had a girlfriend. When a pretty young girl applies for a job as a waitress, his heart is set afire, though he knows he'll never win her because of his looks. One day, a man hands him a card for a suit shop. Since he has to attend a wedding he goes to purchase a suit, only to be led into the back room and let in on a new technology. It's "The Handsome Suit", a full body suit that vaccuforms to the wearer and makes the person incredibly handsome. He becomes a model, but can't win the girl of his dreams.
The theme of both movies is, ultimately, be yourself and stay who you are because you end up turning your back on those who already love you when you chase frivolous dreams.
Both movies were hits and not because of the moral. People flocked to these films because we all feel like we could be successful if we were more handsome, or pretty, or had that something that other people would die to possess. It was the duty of these films to let the audience have these fantasies, but to tell them in the end that fantasies are nice, but you have to make the best of who you are. Any other message would be simply irresponsible.
...Which brings me back to the Susan Boyle subject. We're now seeing a woman who is wholly herself. She doesn't seem to have any personal illusions for fame and fortune. She says she's never been kissed. I believe it. Not because she's homely, mind you, but she doesn't seem to be the type to casually kiss. She's a proper person. A normal person. An AVERAGE person. Damn, maybe that's just as rare. I don't know anymore.
This woman is in for a little bit of a ride, I think. She'll make an album, be a media darling for a while (these whiles are getting shorter and shorter in the Internet age) but in the end she'll ultimately go back to her village and cat and talk about the times she had. Back to anonymity. For a woman that simple and sweet, there should be no other ending.