Say You Won’t Change, Susan Boyle
The staff sat expectantly around the conference table as I pressed the YouTube link to Britain’s Got Talent. “What’s Ruthy doing now?” was surely the predominant cognitive thread… Obvious emotion filled the room as they watched Susan Boyle upend the world with her other-wordly voice… And as outraged as they were at the sneers and cynicism evinced by smug audience members at the sight of the plain-Jane, ungainly elderly woman (was she really only in her forties?), they could not honestly separate their pre-conceived negative expectations, and later, amazement , upon hearing the beatific voice emerge.
We may not be proud of it, but all of us are subject to a whole host of factors influencing our responses to people and the objects we introduce to our lives. Scientists have long categorized the elements of universally perceived beauty, and libraries are filled with our less than laudable embrace of the visually pleasing over the simple and unattractive.
And what happens when a remarkable sensation explodes on the zeitgeist of millions of people around the world-probably one of the most prolific viral emails ever? Does she remain as visually unremarkable and we, as a society learn to love her- gray, frizzy hair and all?
Not a chance! Marketers got a hold of her real quickly, and cognizant that her future was linked to her marketability, launched the new and repackaged talent—new hairdo, clothes and all- to an adoring, receptive world!