1. Susan Boyle au naturel
Her relatively ungrooomed look earned everything from catcalls to kudos, with plenty of people saying "You leave our lovely lass alone!"
2. Daily Makeover's virtual attempt:
'We evened out her skin tone, groomed her brows and opened up her eyes with mascara and soft grey liner."
They also tried out two new hairstyles. The 'original' Susan is at far left, and when I enlarged the photo to study her curly bob, I thought it suited her face far better than the limp makeover choices. She just needs to work in some Curls Rock Curl Amplifier, so her hair matches the fullness of her voice.
I'd say yes to the makeup tweaks and no to these utterly conventional hairstyles. Give her a shot of glossy hair colour, and the good will to keep that charming smile while the rest of the world debates how beautiful she is or isn't.
3. Susan's real life choice
So this is where she landed. A less-curly coloured coif, groomed brows, makeup, a leather jacket and Burberry scarf.
Last Sunday's New York Times ran an article, "Yes, Looks DO Matter" by Pam Belluck, featuring Boyle. (The online version has at this point logged over 350 comments, providing an informal poll of just how much 'the book cover' counts.)
Commenters remarked that some of our most-loved singers (Ella Fitzgerald, Kate Smith, Edith Piaf, Judy Garland) were not conventional beauties, and that, if Abraham Lincoln had been televised, he would never have been elected.
At the same time, we are part of a culture that expects to be entertained and served by pretty people.
Susan Boyle's looks will evolve, though never to the strenuously botoxed and hair-extensioned level of today's entertainment icons. I hope nothing interferes with the twinkle in her eye and her resolutely independent air.