People are crying, not from the external beauty represented by Holden, but because of the internal beauty projected by Susan Boyle.
I have worked in television most of my professional life. I see many women before they have their hair and makeup done. Most are good looking enough; some are just average. But when they emerge from their makeovers, they have been transformed into something they are not. Reality was before. They are now someone's fantasy.
Even though we know where physical beauty ultimately leads -- to wrinkles and sometimes to despair -- we still worship it. The 18th-century English poet Thomas Gray got to the heart of it when he wrote:
"The boast of heraldry, the pomp of pow'r,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave.
Awaits alike the inevitable hour:
The paths of glory lead but to the grave."
In an interview with a British newspaper, Susan Boyle said, "Modern society is too quick to judge people on their appearances. There is not much you can do about it; it is the way they think; it is the way they are. But maybe this could teach them a lesson, or set an example."
Let's hope it does both.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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