Watching the Grammy Awards the other night, I was struck that there are almost no "plain" or "homely" people in the music business anymore. In this age of MTV and the music video, there is no place for the less than photo- or telegenic performer. In fact, a pretty face is not even enough. A singer today needs to have a "great figure" as well. Sadly, most of my all-time favorites would never make it in today's environment. Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Aretha Franklin and Buddy Holly, legends all, but not beautiful or glamorous. The world would be a sadder place without Peggy Sue, Respect, Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain or Blowin' in the Wind.
Programs like American Idol only feed into this problem. Only the good looking get on the show. Only the really good looking have a shot at winning. People with facial blemishes, weight issues or- heaven forbid- bald heads should just pack it in. You are not good enough in today's world.
And those of you who want to defend Christian music as somehow superior need to get over yourselves. I challenge you to find the great artists who are not physically 'perfect.'
I believe the best artists in all fields of music cannot be found today because of our bias toward pretty people. It is a sad state of affairs.
So I propose a change. For the next week let's support the plain people in the world. Let's watch television programs that feature the plain (there are not very many). Let's listen to music that is less concerned about how well the performer dances in the video than it is to the quality of the singer.
For one week, let's have no "perfect people" in our lives. Let us not try to look like Hollywood ideals. Let us not dress like them, or act like them, or talk like them. For this week, let's be anti-establishment. Let's be plain. Let us be normal. For one week.