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Susan Boyle: Yes To Oprah, No To Makeover

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But can we at least have a whack at those eyebrows?!

oprah winfrey and susan boyle

Jodi Bryson: If you're one of the tens of millions of people, including Oprah Winfrey, who has an interest in Susan Boyle of "Britain's Got Talent," I appreciate that you have your reasons. I admit that I am utterly preoccupied with her, but it has nothing to do with her singing or the fact that she's a 47-year-old virgin.

Susan Boyle looks like Gene Hackman in drag, and I can barely deal. I'm a beauty editor, and I want to give her a makeover so bad, I might have beauty blue balls.

But she won't be made over. She also won't date, as per her responses to questions on this week's "Today" show visit with superfans Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira. On Friday, she is Oprah's guest.

You can watch the "Today" interview and performance. I recommend you only listen to it.

It's mean, I know. I believe Oprah must have designs to transform her from the Flawless Voice who looks like Benny Hill on qualudes into the Flawless Voice who looks like Benny Hill on Sephora. Oprah wants it. I know she does. Oprah wears false lashes every day. Oprah is my people.

Since Boyle brought the British crowd to its feet with a performance of "I Dreamed a Dream" from "Les Misérables," she is both a media phenom and 12-year-old contestant Shaheen Jafargholi's biggest competition. Have you YouTubed the kid? Ridiculous! Boyle could be on any opera stage singing like any opera star. Perfect is the curriculum goal in classic voice training, and Boyle is delivering perfection. Jafargholi is giving prodigious soul.

I know this is harsh and superficial but, secretly, beauty writers are harsh and superficial. When I'm reporting beauty, it's my job to help you feel gorgeous, to help you get to that elusive and ideal beautiful "there" from where you are now. But I can never be entirely honest about your appearance. I have to be subtle, make suggestions, offer a few tips, and capitalize on your best features. Today I'm just being brutally honest about Boyle.

If I could, I would do a drive-by makeover on the sweet lady. I already fantasize about drive-by makeovers at work: daydreams about a cart that I could wheel around corporate offices and do cubicle makeovers to correct infuriating drugstore eyeliner or attend to neglected eyebrows. I'd color and style hair. I'd have a healthy stock of white button-down blouses and Audrey Hepburn flats.

When my client looked fresh, I'd say "Gorgeous, look at me." Then FWAP! I'd slap her. I would do this because there is no excuse for rusty blush and it pisses me off, but I'd convince her this is because humble is attractive and adrenaline brings color to the cheeks. And that would be true, too. Then I'd give her a shot of tequila, an espresso, and a mint. For the rest of the day, coworkers might say "Golly, that Joan looks great today and she's just so delightful!" As opposed to, "Watch out, Joan is walking around cornering people into talking about her damn cats again."

What the hell did Joan ever do to me? Nothing. But beauty is part of my profession. Joan needs me. Boyle needs me. Boyle needs a team of beauty experts. Boyle needs Oprah's team to take care of business for Friday's appearance. But it could be tough.

Amanda Holden, a judge on "Britain's Got Talent," said this: "She needs to stay exactly the way she is because that's the reason we love her." I thought it was Boyle's voice people love, but Holden has a point. And I have a mission.

If Boyle is going to beat the boy out of the grand prize, well, simply put, I'm going to need her to not look like Gene Hackman. And the virgin thing? Sweetheart! My makeover could change that, too.

Bitchy? I apologize, even if I can't change my position. Correct me if I'm wrong, or send me some love if you agree.

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65 comments so far | Post a comment now
Laura April 22, 2009, 8:18 PM

You, sadly, have missed the point of the story.

The Sara April 22, 2009, 8:53 PM

I was going to write up a nice flame to shot at you. But reading these comments… I no longer feel the need. Too many people that think the way you do, force little girls to grow up with warped self images.

Mary Lee  April 22, 2009, 9:02 PM

Can you to do a drive-by makeover on me?

Andy April 22, 2009, 10:04 PM

Hey………..Too Bad .
Keep your mouth closed …pleeeeease…”beauty editor and with nosense Jodi Bryson “

Number1Elf April 23, 2009, 1:25 AM

While it gives me that paranoid looking over my shoulder to see if anyone is looking feeling as I read this, I silently concur…I mean if the lack of effort in the looks department is not supporting natures most basic instinct which is “Pro-Creation” then maybe she should give it a go. Good call.

Rachel April 23, 2009, 2:48 AM

Not that it really matters, but if that’s how she wants to look then that’s her call. I think I look good but I wouldn’t pass up a chance at a makeover! Everyone on this site is just trying to act like they are all perfect and don’t pass judgement, when each and every one of you know that with a little help, Susan Boyle could look a lot prettier! You just don’t have the balls to come out and say it.

Anonymous April 23, 2009, 8:15 AM

Get off your high horse and give this lady some respect. Does it really matter how she looks and dresses? Her talent is in singing not modeling. And in case you forgot she brought an applauding crowd to their feet with just her voice. Good Luck with your future columns.


susan addict April 23, 2009, 8:49 AM

dear Jodi…,, great writing ….got a few good laughs out of this….and Im a Susan addict wanting nothing but the best for her…lighten up people,, Susan in time will have a makeover and it will be well orchestrated….and wouldn’t we all if we were in the same position !!!!

t. lois April 23, 2009, 9:43 AM

I agree. Leave Susan alone. She’s beautiful.

Gracie Ellen April 23, 2009, 9:52 AM

I love Susan Boyle, totally fascinated by her, and I agree, she does look a little like Gene Hackman.

T. Nicolai April 23, 2009, 10:51 AM

Lots of shallow people out there. I say to Susan Boyle “Good for you….a lovely “real” person from the inside out!”

-Terea/Phx. AZ

Gillian April 23, 2009, 11:57 AM

Oh Dear God. This bodes not well.
I read this posting and it made me feel awful in body mind and spirit. I think this sort of negativity only brings more negativity. Is that really what you want to put out into the world? Friend, I love the real you.

June April 23, 2009, 12:55 PM

Susan Boyle’s beauty is within, and I hope she never changes to please others.

Annette April 23, 2009, 2:31 PM

being a former mall makeup artist who longed to makeover many many people walking thru the mall, I thought this piece was hilarious! I think everyone is taking it way too seriously. Why does everything have to be so politically correct all the time? I even bet that SB would laugh at this as well, at the same time as refusing the makeover!

lshaz April 23, 2009, 3:21 PM

Your disgusting attitude & comments are an unfortunate confirmation of the loss of inner quality & health in your generation.

Trell April 23, 2009, 3:24 PM

I agree. She needs a makeover. Everyone should try and look their best when in the public eye. Most of the ones criticizing your point of view are too lazy or insecure to slap on a little make up and fluff their hair. No matter how much people complain that appearance shouldn’t matter—we ALL know that it does!

Shawn April 23, 2009, 6:44 PM

im tripped on this “commentary” while looking to see how the ‘susan’ story is going. i read a little and chuckled. then i read more and felt a sting. then it continued and i could feel my face getting hot and my heart to thump.

now im angry, and im thinking “how dare you?” you just cant NOT SAY IT. you cant hold your tongue. you cant be polite. do you not know the slashing, stinging power of those harsh attacks?

believe me, that garbage you pass as prose makes you far more ugly.

utelltex April 24, 2009, 1:50 AM

Not everyone, thank God, believes that beauty is skin deep. There are plenty of superficial, empty but perfect bodies and faces out there. Its very sad that you feel so defensive about your own vanity that you have to rip someone so beautiful, in real ways that matter,apart.

jaes talia April 24, 2009, 4:16 AM

darlin, darlin, com’n, Susan Boyle is a human being she is what others dreaming to wake up to, u know? from rejection to open arms. the moment I first saw her talking behind the stage before she delivered the most beatiful sound I’ve ever heard, I said to myself; how sweet it is to see people who come out as who they are, aren’t we all? we were created that way until we cover things up in pretending that we are pure and innocent. so remove you cover-up so that you can see people like me and Susan, clearer.

Pauline Snider April 24, 2009, 2:52 PM

Don’t you understand? We love her just as she is. And that’s a BIG THING.

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