29 Apr

Britain’s Got Talent: Susan Boyle

On April 11th, 2009 Susan Boyle, an unemployed
47-year-old plain and frumpy woman appeared on the TV show Britain’s Got Talent
and shocked the world with her extraordinary voice. When she first walked onto
the stage and Simon Cowell was asking her his preliminary questions, you could
see the non-verbal expressions of people’s faces saying, “ she’s a frumpy old
woman who is going to embarrass herself.”

Susan’s appearance did communicate to me as an image
consultant that she was dealing with some self-esteem issues and no one had
every really taught her how to highlight her best features and create a
personal brand that communicates what type of professional singer she dreams of
being. For her first public appearance on the show her image showed grayish,
hair that had no style and barely looked like it had been combed, large bushy
eyebrows, no make-up, a cream straight dress  (that didn’t flatter her figure) and black hose and light
cream shoes. She appeared to be rumpled in her personal grooming and matronly
looking.

People’s image is a reflection of their inner self. You
project on the outside how you feel on the inside. As we have gotten to know
Susan, she claims that she had some issues growing up and was teased and bullied
all the time as a child. She has never had a boyfriend or even been kissed. She
lives a very lonely life with her cat, pebbles. It’s not surprising to me that
she has no confidence about her self after living a lonely life with people constantly making fun of her. 

I guarantee you Susan does have an authentic style. She may not know what that style and is needs to do some introspective work to discover who she really is. Once she finds that look that she feels comfortable wearing and it is easy and stylish, she will be glad she took the image journey.  With being on the show I
do hope that she takes advantage of the image coaching she will get on her
appearance.It was significantly raise her confidence level which will enhance her vocal ability to an even greater level. Although I agree she has an amazing voice, people do make judgments
about you based on your scale of attractiveness and your appearance. She needs
to keep her authentic style of who she is but enhance that style and personal
brand through her appearance. I know she is beginning the new makeover to
become a Cinderella, I just hope that she is true to herself in evolving into
this wonderful entertainer.

Here are a few tips I would have given to Susan before she
arrived on the first show:

1). Invest in a great stylish hairstyle that is chic and
modern

2). Have your eyebrows professionally groomed. Your eyebrows
are a main focal point of your face and frame your eyes. This would open up her
eye area to look younger.

3). She definitely needs some make-up. Her skin is very
ruddy looking. A light foundation, blush, lipstick, and light eye definition
would have given her some color and make her appear more youthful.

4). Wear a more complimentary dress silhouette that flatters
your figure type. The pale cream dress was too straight for her body. A dress with a flirty skirt made out of some refined fabric would have looked great on her.

5). With her sloping shoulders, I would look for constructed fabrics to build up her shoulders to not allow her to look so dowdy.

6). Give up the black hose and cream-colored shoes. This
paired with the light pale dress screamed frumpy. Perhaps a nude colored hose
and a great colored peep-toe shoe or pump would have looked more stylish and
modern. 

I do wish Susan the best of luck in the show. I think that
if she can get a make-over that exudes her personal brand and authentic style
she will realize that life long dream of being a professional singer. 

If you have not seen Susan's appearance on Utube here it is and definitely worth watching:

https://youtube.com/watch?v=9lp0IWv8QZY

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Sarah Hathorn
Sarah Hathorn, CEO of Hathorn Consulting Group, is the go-to-expert in working with leaders and companies to create successful corporate DNA. As an executive coach, consultant and speaker she collaborates globally with clients and brands such as Kimberly-Clark, Sherwin-Williams, Home Depot and other leading organizations.
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