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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
Taylor April 24, 2009, 3:27 PM

susan boyle is an amazing woman, who cares what she looks like. shes blessed with an amazing VOICE!
leave her alone..she needs to be herself!! AMEN!

Marta Celenia April 24, 2009, 5:02 PM

Stay just the way you are. Genuine, authentic, humble and so refreshing. We’re sick of sexy, pretty, plastic, as Elaine Paige said on Larry King. You have a God given gift, I could take a zillion voice lessons and I’d never have the unique, astounding, gift you have shared with us. Forget about a makeover by someone who sounds like a precursor of the kids that have bullied you all your life. You are God’s gift to us to know that in this jaded world there exists someone, who, even with all the denigrating comments, which continue in this article, has risen above it and reminded us what true beauty, family, friends and all that is good in this world really is all about. You deserve to win, for your talent, patience, perseverance and humility. We’re praying for you. And no matter what happens on BGT we await your album anxiously. We’re already on’s waiting list for your album.

Chuckster April 24, 2009, 5:19 PM

Jesus Christ…the world needs so many FEWER people like you.

O Res April 24, 2009, 10:01 PM

what a disgusting article. Susan Boyle is great BECAUSE of who she is, including her looks that defy the idiotic pressure by “beauty” idiots, like the author of this article.

Patricia April 25, 2009, 12:11 AM

Jodi, I doubt that you will be getting much love. Thanks to Susan Boyle, I think the public finally “gets it!” Great talent like Susan Boyle’s doesn’t need a makeover by you or anyone else. How DARE you call her “Gene Hackman in drag.” How dare you! The trouble with people like you is that you don’t put yourself in another person’s place. If you had a tremendous talent, how would you like to have someone call you “Gene Hackman in drag” and have it plastered all over the media. Do you not consider what someone might feel like if they should read your sorry column? Instead of criticizing her looks, focus on the beauty she already possesses. It certainly isn’t your call whether Susan needs a makeover or not.

Anonymous April 25, 2009, 1:29 AM

You represent the idiotic, unintelligent,superficial rude and artificial world. You know nothing about beauty! it is something you cannot see!!Wake up!

Marcos April 25, 2009, 1:49 AM

Ms. Bryson, this is the first and last article I will read of yours. I like fashion, and I appreciate talent. But what you speak of comes from a place of inner pain and insecurity, not fashion sense.
Susan Boyle doesn’t need you or any of us. I admire her for having the courage to not quit on her dream. What is your dream? How are you making the world a better place?

alyssa April 25, 2009, 3:17 AM

never coming back to this site….

Joan April 25, 2009, 6:11 AM

Whew - my Grandmother taught me that if you can’t say anything nice about someone, don’t say anything at all. Too bad you didn’t have the same upbringing.

leigh northcutt April 25, 2009, 1:39 PM

You my dear, are everything that is wrong and ugly about American society. We have become focused on the superficial and on image, instead of on what it truly beautiful about people, which is their actions and inner strength. The feminists who protested for female suffrage in the early 1900s and for female equality during my mother’s era are rolling in their graves upon reading your shallow and tacky comments. This is just another example of how sometimes women subjugate other women. We do not all need to look the same. Get over yourself.

Aaron April 25, 2009, 4:40 PM

Uhhh…this is a blog about beauty and makeovers. Guess what? Susan Boyle is very unattractive. I’m not saying she’s ugly or not talented or anything like that, but, look—-this woman does NOT look like anyone else you see on TV, and that’s what this blog is saying.

“Leave her along, she’s perfect as she is.” …yeah, yeah, and we’re all children of the Lord, I get it. But relax, people, she does NOT look good. Not saying anything wild or crazy here…and if you saw her on the street, you would think the same thing. She’s a sensation right now BECAUSE she does not look good.

So, the author of this blog is a freakin’ beauty editor and is giving her opinion on how this new celebrity could look better. That’s her job and she’s doing it well.

Patricia April 26, 2009, 1:35 AM

Oh puhleeze, Aaron! There is a way to be constructive and there is a way to be demeaning. Jodi as well as many other “authors” jump on the bandwagon using words that are hurtful and humiliating toward another to get the readers attention. And you sir, fall right into that category claiming she’s doing good work. There is nothing good about it.

If Jodi is suppose to be a beauty editor, then tell me how to apply eye shadow, or how Aaron can get the hair off his back…something constructive.

LindaPaulette April 26, 2009, 9:08 AM

Good grief! Leave Susan Boyle alone. Apparently people like her JUST THE WAY SHE IS. Go find Lindsay Lohan, or Madonna, or Britney and make a bigger mess of them than they already are but, leave this decent human being alone! We have enough bimbo lookalikes out there.

Anonymous April 27, 2009, 10:51 AM

Dear Susan,
You are genuine from the inside out, as we cannot judge a book by its cover, please stay as you are, you do not want to be like everybody, please no make over. You are so wonderful as you are with real values not empty values like all the people who want to make you over, for what reason so that you would be like the majority?
The most important is your voice and because you are genuine, so please stay as you are.
France laporte

L April 27, 2009, 4:30 PM

The sad thing is that you likely only have your looks to go on, this is why you find a need to wright such an artical because susan shows you theres a world where the “normal” people can just be themselves and still make it whilst you have nothing else to go on

Dixie April 28, 2009, 3:13 AM

I’m glad I wasn’t the only one thinking this.

I like the cart idea…and if you can do something about people who think Crocs are acceptable footwear over the age of 5, I’ll buy you an Appletini. Every day. For a year.

Keep it up, sister…it’s nice to know there are other people who realize that the rest of us have to look at them. :)

Michele Siemasko April 28, 2009, 12:46 PM

Susan is an amazing example of working with your passion, singing is hers! She was confident & her original self,her mentioning 47 & only one side, showed her humbleness, in a way, to Simon & Pierce,I’ve got substance…I am content with who I am,&I will have my first kiss,when its right, to look forward I have mentioned you can judge a book by its cover, walk into an event as if you own it have a welcoming presence,& welcoming smile, you’ll shine shine, which she did!, good for her I wish her the best, keep her unique heart,& passion for singing!She’ll show Hollywood how it should be,the audience should be embarrassed, the girl in front row,she showed her substance…

FtHood April 30, 2009, 3:22 AM

Yup - Jodi hides behind makeup! Google doesn’t lie!! Woman, you’re no beauty queen at all - you should retract your self proclaimed title! You offer Beauty Tips?!?!? (LMAO) Try some on yourself - seriously Ms. Jodi…your gum line, your upper lip (yea, she has one), omg - your eyebrows…whew!! You should definitely use some of the advice being thrown at you on this blog.

So Ms. Boyle is a virgin - AWESOME!!! Not only can she sing, she has POWER too! Now that’s a REAL woman! Perhaps you’re a bit jealous that she still has it (and more) and you don’t. Great talent doesn’t have to come in a slutty package.
Ms. Boyle - do your thing your way! America Loves You!!!

sky May 1, 2009, 1:26 PM

Susan Bolye is perfect, the way that god made her. She may not be beautiful, but shes not ugly either, her beauty is in her singing and her persoality, don’t take that away from her. We all judge to fast on how people look, it’s not the outside we should be judgeing it’s the inside of ones soul. Don’t give her a make over she’s beautiful as she is. God gave her a beautifull voice for her to share with us, that’s all that matters, and for those that want to critize her, then don’t listen to her.

susan  May 2, 2009, 6:41 AM

Susan is pretty.

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