Dennis Palumbo at The Huffington Post considers what might have happened had the book matched the expectations so many formed on viewing the cover:
The unspoken message of this whole episode is that, since Susan Boyle has a wonderful talent, we were wrong to judge her based on her looks and demeanor. Meaning what? That if she couldn't sing so well, we were correct to judge her on that basis? That demeaning someone whose looks don't match our impossible, media-reinforced standards of beauty is perfectly okay, unless some mitigating circumstance makes us re-think our opinion?
Personally, I'm gratified that her voice inspires so many, and reminds us of our tendency to judge and criticize based on shallow externals of beauty. What I mean is, I'm glad for her.
But I have no doubt that, had she performed poorly, Simon Cowell would be rolling his eyes still. And the audience would have hooted and booed with the relish of Roman spectators at the Colosseum. And that Susan Boyle's appearance on the show would still be on YouTube, but as an object of derision and ridicule.
So let's not be too quick to congratulate ourselves for taking her so fully to our hearts. We should've done that anyway, as we should all those we encounter who fall outside the standards of youth and beauty as promulgated by fashion magazines, gossip sites, and hit TV shows.
We should've done that anyway, before Susan Boyle sang a single note.
Susan Boyle's voice is fantastic, and her song choice brilliant. The Cinderella aspect of her story has undoubted widespread appeal; and that's exactly what gets me posting. What will Susan Boyle look like by the final of Britain's Got Talent? Will she still be unemployed? Will she still have never been kissed?
There seems to have been a presumption that she was unhappy as she was, and that her singing voice will rescue her from all that. Maybe she was, maybe she will look back in five years and be infinitely pleased by how her life has changed. I'm uncomfortable with the idea that someone can't possibly be satisfied with the life she was living already.
* If not, you could try here.
** Or rather seem to conform.