THE VIEW FROM OAK PARK
The Official Krisztina Blogsite
Suddenly Sick of Susan
Alright, alright, I know I said it. Mesmerized. Inspired. Heartwarming. Well, I still believe in passionately following your dreams and I still believe in a world of no limitations, but I have to say, I’ve had enough of the Susan Boyle story. The worldwide media saturation has taken a good thing (and now there’s even some question as to the authenticity of the judges’ surprise) and made it boring, repetitive, tedious, dull, mind-numbing, uninteresting…okay, I better stop. Wait. Tiresome. Okay, now I’m done! The exposure of this story as the exception, just goes to prove the rule – we are a look-obsessed, media-frenzied world. We, the general audience, have all patted ourselves on the back a little as we watch the Susan Boyle audition. We ‘tut-tut’ the rolling eyes of the audience and the judges even though we would have done the exact same thing had we been sitting there. And now the big dilemma – should Susan Boyle get a makeover? Has she already? Isn’t that a new leather jacket? Has she ever worn pumps before? Aren’t the eyebrows a little less bushy? Couldn’t she do with a hair stylist? We are still a world heavily invested in ‘lookism’ and ‘sexism’ in our celebrities. We want our singers and movie stars to be attractive. The Susan Boyle story is sadly, just a blip, making us feel a little better about ourselves for cheering her on. Don’t get me wrong, I love sharing in her dream come true. I just hate being bombarded with it.
Despite the advances in feminism, we have escalating levels of sexism and violence in our society. It can be a ‘girl-poisoning’ environment. One that stifles creative spirits and natural impulses, ultimately destroying fragile young self-esteems. When young girls are trading oral sex for just about anything and playing down their smarts in school, something is wrong. When primary school girls are so worried about their body image that they are becoming anorexic, something is wrong. I applaud Dove for their focus on real women as well as their girls’ self-esteem workshops. But they are not the norm. Our tabloid society still wants to judge Jessica Simpson for being a little too heavy, and Lindsay Lohan for being a little too skinny. A number of years ago, I attempted to start up a company aimed at nurturing creativity in teenage girls – the premise being that all girls are creative, they just need the opportunity to explore what they’re good at. This was way before Dove, and a little ahead of its time at the time, but my feelings on the subject haven’t changed. It is refreshing to see Ellen DeGeneres declaring, tongue-in-cheek (sort of!!) for the Oil of Olay campaign that “Inner beauty is important. But not nearly as important as outer beauty.” Funny? Yes. True? Sadly, probably yes. So in deference to Susan Boyle, once again my call to action is this: stoke the flames of someone’s dream. And if you can nurture the creativity of a young girl, even better!!
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