Monday, May 18, 2009

What it says on the tin

This post owes it's existence to one at Zaftig. So hat tip there.

Her post got me thinking about how people think about others what they perceive, their expectations and how they judge others.

At the extreme I guess it probably slides into prejudice and racism.

Her post was about Susan Boyle. For those of you who don't know, she is an entrant into a UK TV talent show. She does not have star looks but quite a good voice, enough to stand out amid the other talents on display.

The contrast in, I guess, what people expected, to her actual performance makes her noteworthy.

Not quite what Ruthie was getting at, but what I am posting about.

I have even seen Ads that play on the same thing, people's expectations and perceptions. These Ads were clever in that they presented the apparent expectation and then showed that the situation was opposite to what was expected. Maybe they made people a tiny bit less likely to just assume too.

Put bluntly, why should it be so staggering that Susan Boyle can sing? Or.. Who knows? Maybe paint great art! Or any number of things. How you look is not all that relevant concerning how well you sing.

Or maybe that a blonde should actually be smart instead of dumb. Or an older guy going thin on top and grey can be warm, perceptive, witty and captivate a girl's attention. Or a plain girl on the tubby side be fun and sexy, know fashion and be great company? A guy do ballet, a girl in the marines? A bright black child who wants to study and get on in the inner city...

They may all be, but how often does it get noticed when people have preconceptions about who can do what? Expectations of others can hold people back sometimes too.

How many other Susan Boyles are there out there quietly getting on who no one expects to be able to sing? Or who get a chance? How many other talking horses out there?

That is one thing I do like about Second Life. Ha! You just knew I would have to mention it eventually, I mostly avoided it the last few posts. ^_^

I remember, ages ago now it seems, I was chatting with JMB and telling her about a guy in SL and how I liked him. Well you discuss the pitfalls of the internet and such... Anyway she pointed out he could be a ninety year old for all I knew.

I thought about it and realised even if he was... well he wasn't too, or it was not relevant.

Most of my close friends in SL are young and cute/beautiful. They can be so they are. In fact in sl it is difficult not to be. (If you judge by appearances in sl at all it is more based on how convincingly realistic someone looks.)

They are generally kind, considerate, thoughtful, mature, protective even, yet with a sense of fun, adventure, humour and a lively imagination. Good company. That's what they are consistently like every experience I have of them confirms it.

That is what they are like inside, be they 19, or 90, whatever they look like, and I realised I didn't need, or even care, to know about him or any of my other SL friends.

To be honest I have real difficulty imagining/seeing JMB as past retirement age. Intellectually I know she is, but not really she isn't, to me. She is feisty and striking enough for shots of her to be put in a gallery to model hats.

SL lets us all be Hollywood beautiful, only our imagination limits what we can be. We can dress as we please. Even be another species, or maybe a clockwork robot. When that can happen it is more important what a person is like inside.

Maybe we ought to let a little of that leak over into RL?


Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Dear Moggs,
I am a little confused. Are you implying that the photo of the cute dog on the sidebar of this blog may not actually look like JMB? This squirrel is scandalised.

jmb said...

While I agree totally with what you have said Miss Moggs, I somehow think everyone has been manipulated a bit in this story.
I am rather cynical about these so called reality shows as I think they are just as staged as any other made for TV program.

Moggs Tigerpaw said...

LGS, She can of course look exactly how she chooses and frequently does.

You should see me when I am being a beautiful white unicorn... Though I am not sure if your status as a squirrel exempts you from certain other requirements concerning unicorn associating ^_^

Does a squirrel count as a furry?

JMB, I agree. I wonder if it was all managed, or if the judges were quite as surprised as they looked. Maybe they were kept in the dark by the producers for a better TV moment?