Susan Boyle's makeovers

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

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.


I think the tidy up takes away the visual distractions that were here eyebrows and hair, which were hard for many to get past.

She's got a great voice and a completely ungroomed appearance detracts from that in this visually obsessed world in which we live.
Susan B said…
I just hope that whatever changes she's making are something that she wants and aren't being foisted on her. I agree with you about her sassy sparkle. I hope they don't make that over as well.
Duchesse said…
Pseu: I'm a cynic. I am "sure" she was deliberately 'left as is' for max surprise factor on the show. Now she will be fluffed six ways to Sunday. It will be foisted on her, in the name of making the most of her moment.
Anonymous said…
I think that Ms Boyle is a very handsome woman and I mean that in a complimentary way. She has a wonderful strong look that should be emphasised and built on. She also seems to have an amazing personality that I don't think will be too easy for the 'packaging people' to push around.
According to the press about her (and by extension every woman) it is our duty to look a certain way.
Frugal Scholar said…
I like #3 the best. I wonder if the tv people emphasized the dowdiness for the first tv appearance?
lagatta à montréal said…
True, her hair was unruly (wiry) and not very well styled, but I wonder why there is such a prejudice nowadays against curly hair? I absolutely refuse to straighten my hair, though I do use conditioners that make it look curly as opposed to "uncontrollable" (one conditioner I have, from Netherlands, says it is for "uncontrollable" hair).

Many fine singers, male and female, have not been conventinally attractive. I'm glad neither Barbra from the US or Barbara from France had a nose job! It is sad that there is such a plastic, limited range of how people can look.

But denying Ms Boyle a colouring to even out her hair in front of the cameras and other minor improvements would be rather cruel, casting her as something of a freak show.

I can use the "before" picture to explain to people why I colour my hair, though my hair is much nicer than hers. I suppose it will eventually be a nice silver naturally, but a lot of people do not have an even salt-and-pepper in middle age. Unless it is cut very short, which looks dreadful on me, it looks messy somehow.
Anonymous said…
Love her!

She still needs some better fitting trousers, though. See the pulling at the crotch?
Anonymous said…
Susan Boyle reminds me a bit of our Canadian singer Rita McNeil, who has made the best of herself for many years. Have a look:

materfamilias said…
I'm a bit impatient with the whole phenomenon, quite honestly. I think there's an attractive intelligence in Boyle's face, nicely-proportioned features, openness, good colour, etc., -- she reminds me of what my English aunties used to look like in the days before we were all instantly evaluated on the basis of our clothes. I'm all for grooming and stylish dressing, but we're all the losers if we can't see the appeal in anything that doesn't fit into a very narrow window of visual acceptability.
Anne At Large said…
I like the hair and makeup choices she has made, the makeovers trying to give her longer, straighter hair seem very off to me. The clothes look like they were foisted on her by Trinny and Susannah though, not like she had input in choosing them. Good thing her voice will never be cookie-cutter!
lady jicky said…
I sort of get the feeling she is not happy in the photo with that too dark dyed hair and the pants.
Do you see it or is it me?
sallymandy said…
I don't know. I almost liked her better the original way. At least she looked original. This makeover strikes me as really quite blah. She almost looks older, somehow.

I agree with Deja about the sassy sparkle. I don't see it here.
Duchesse said…
lady jicky: This was not a staged shoot, she looks caught and not pleased by it.

Sallymandy: The glasses make her look older- and she's not smiling.

materfamilias: Once a performer is before a camera, on national TV, they become fair game, which is not fair at all.

sjcyogi: Rita Mcneil conforms less to the norm than Susan Boyle, because of her size; Ginette Reno is another. There have always been big women with great presence in entertainment, like Sophie Tucker and Kate Smith, though by far a minority.
Anjela's Day said…
Crotch pulling pants!! Darn my computer won't allow for a close up......

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