I’m not a big tv fan generally, and reality tv in particular tends to send me screaming from the room. I just don’t get the desire for fame and glamour, although I’ll concede I do like to see an underdog triumph.
When a friend suggested I watch Simon Cowell et al interviewing Susan Boyle for Britain’s Got Talent 2009, I was sceptical. But here I am, 8 hours later, still thinking about her. Why? Because in her there’s the start of a story hope. A middle aged lady, who by her own assessment “never had the chance” to make it doing what she loves, had the guts to stand up in front of Cowell, known for his ability to knock down the most confident of wannabes. No-one expected her to be anything more – if we’re honest – than a laughing stock. We watch her being set up in advance – you can just see the footage for the out-cuts… And then she takes a breath and sings.
She really sings. As she does so, she comes alive. We’re reminded of what real beauty is: not the skin-deep glamour of the stage, but the inner life thing that comes out when we do what we’re made to do. There’s something profound in it. I saw it; Simon Cowell saw it; hopefully you see it too. Certainly the rest of the world seems to be seeing it, judging from the attention she’s attracted.
It lifted my heart, reminded me that we’re all given beauty and it’s there to be celebrated. We shouldn’t be afraid to show it. “Wow! Go on!” I thought. What a gift, and how much more fabulous for being unexpected!
I felt a wee bit emotional, too, to see this lady start to live a dream. I also worry for Ms Boyle, though, that making it through the interviews invites her into a lion’s den she’s likely to be unable to imagine from the confines of her West Lothian life. There’s an innocence in her, and that’s to be cherished. I wonder how it will change. Let’s hope the experience is a lifting one for her.
For now, for me, note to self: quit judging, expect to see beauty in people, and be ready to celebrate it.
Watch her here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lp0IWv8QZY