This week was a difficult choice for me. I was torn between this video and (McFly’s) Tom Fletcher’s video “Bump to Buzz,” a time lapse video showing his wife’s pregnancy and their new-born baby accompanied by an original Tom Fletcher song.
The ultimate decision came down to the fact that this video of this Italian nun, Sister Cristina Scuccia, astoundingly racked up approximately 25 million views (most of which, I imagine to be Simon Cowell with dollar signs in his eyes) and because there was a subtle message in this video that I found to be infinitely valuable.
Although to be totally honest, both videos involved elements that scare me to my core: religion and babies…
There were a number of things I loved about this video. Firstly, Sister Cristina’s jazzy moves. In fact, on re-watching this video and focusing on her nun entourage I learnt that dad-dancing and nun-dancing, is one and the same thing. What I’d like to know, is who taught who? Do nuns teach classes on badly timed elbow wiggles in secret? Or are the fathers publishing text-books on side-stepping and uncoordinated clapping that we don’t know about?
Regardless, it is a thing of beauty.
Secondly, and much more sincerely; I loved this video because it sums up exactly what the set-up of The Voice is all about. To me, this is the first time we have seen the show finally do its job. What this show highlights and embarrasses, in the best way possible, is stereotyping.
On a normal talent show, her nuns habit would have immediately had her pigeon-holed as being limited; limited to her identity as a nun and nothing more. We are all guilty of it, we all make snap judgements about people based on how they look or what profession they’re in and we suddenly apply to them a set of constraints about ability, intelligence, moral integrity and so on.
This is what makes this video so brilliant, because the nun with the contemporary pop singer’s voice singing Alicia Keys brilliantly, doesn’t fit into our conventional framework. What Sister Cristina has done, In the most dignified way possible, is given two fingers to our stereotyping-tolerant society.
What Sister Cristina also showed us, was that stereotyping is not only ridiculous but it also just doesn’t even make sense. Why are the judges so surprised to find that voice coming from a nun? And why has this video had nearly 25 million views? It’s because we’re still doing it. We’re all still looking at her with that wonderful voice, wearing her crucifix and thinking she’s a duck out of water.
But why? Why shouldn’t a nun be able to sing Alicia Keys? The video works brilliantly because it puts us all to shame for being so irrationally surprised by it.
So I say hooray for Sister Cristina, and her entourage (don’t forget the entourage). I think she has done us all a huge service.
Do you think this video deserves 25 million views? Let us know in the comments below.
Photo: Ivva / Flickr