Daring to dream

Along with 40 million other people around the world this week I've logged onto youtube to watch the world's newest singing sensation.
 
Susan Boyle of Britain's Got Talent fame. A middle aged woman with a middle aged spread whose voice should supercede her looks but which has been somewhat drowned out in the storm over her bushy eyebrows, matronly frocks and faux pearls.
 
The whole situation is so disgustingly shallow it makes me - a fairly shallow person myself - want to shower and scrub myself clean.
 
I can admit I'm guilty of laughing at desperate wannabes - although I do draw the line at mocking the obviously crazy- in the opening stages of X Factor. I can admit that I  am guilty of (occasionally) making disparaging remarks about people's appearances but watching Susan's resigned face as she waited for her chance to sing was a humbling moment in which I regretted every bitchy catty comment I've ever made.
 
Clearly it's a reaction she is used to. She isn't a nubile big breasted blonde haired young one that FHM would want for their front cover and is obviously used to being judged on her less than glamourous appearance. How the audience giggled when she said she wanted to be as successful as Elaine Paige. How quickly they were silenced when she started to sing.
 
And why should we laugh? What makes the dreams of a middle aged woman any less significant than that of a lithe teenage girl sexily writhing around the stage. She wants to be a professional singer. How ridiculous.

Susan is one of the lucky ones. She has the voice to silence those who'd laugh at her. Many women - and men - do not. 
 
Even now - after Susan has sung and turned the tables on every doubter who chuckled as she waited for her turn in the spotlight - the focus remains on how she looks.
 
Consultants are telling her to stay true to herself and avoid a makeover. The very critics who would most likely tell a teenage girl to lose three stone and dye their hair if they want to get to get ahead in the showbiz world have recognised in Susan an ,as yet, untapped market that they can make money out of. The notion that unattractive people can make money in the glossy world of showbiz is so crazy, it might just work.

There's always a market for selling dreams, now more than ever.

What could possibly be more uplifting and inspiring than watching the unemployed ugly duckling take on the world and make millions without the help of a makeover. Susan makes us all feel better about ourselves because, if she can, anyone can.

This time last week money men and marketing managers couldn't have cared less about Susan the spinster who lives alone with her cat.

Now the dodgy hair and double chins that gave everyone such a good laugh have them laughing all the way to the bank.