Hairspray

By Tracee Sioux

I took my kids and my Grandma to see Hairspray (Full-Screen Edition) at the $1 movie. What a great family flick. Well, I’m not sure my grandma appreciated the subject matter (she’s still not completely sure integration is going to work out.)

There’s the obvious message about race and integration. But, beneath that there is an equally good message about size and gender.

The heroine, Tracy Turnblad, is a . . . what am I allowed to say without pissing anyone off. . . NOT a size Zero (not that here’s anything wrong with being naturally thin).

Tracy is depicted as the hippest and most insightful and fashionable of the girls. Other girls start to cut and color their hair like hers. They imitate her dance moves and vote her Ms. Hairspray. She gets a modeling contract for a dress store. She even scores the leading man, Link Larkin (Zac Efron of High School Musical).

Edna Turnblad (John Travolta in a fat suit and a dress), turns out, hasn’t left the house in 10 years due to embarrassment about her size. It brings to light that women weren’t allowed to have a ton of dreams or ambition – she shares that she dreamed of owning a coin-opperated laundry mat, but gave that up. Nor did housewives “stay home and not work” which is how our Norman Rockwell memory likes to paint the wife of the 1960s, rather they took in other people’s laundry to make ends meet. Tracy made her mom her manager and asked her to negotiate her contract. Such a new thing for any woman, let alone one who felt her appearance wasn’t even good enough to be seen in public.

I’ll teach you how to do it mom, Tracy tells her mother. We’ve been teaching our mothers how to think in new ways and challenge the status quo for a couple of generations now. I can’t wait for the lessons my daughter teaches me.

The bottom line is that this is a movie with powerful female characters who reject their “proper place” in society. Tracy not only thought up and led an integration march, she risked her boyfriend, to do it.

Change isn’t just going to happen for people who are different. We’re going to have to DO something to make it happen, she tells her father.

This kind of feminine power is important for girls to see.

Plus, it came with the added perk of Zac Effron. He’s Ainsley’s first movie star crush and she told me she was dreaming about last night. I have to admit, he’s totally crush-worthy.

(p.s. I’m perfectly aware that this movie review comes out only in time for the Hairspray (Full-Screen Edition). But, I respect my budget and that’s what I can afford. Not to mention no one cares if my 18-month-old runs up and down the aisles at the dollar movie.)

My recommendation: remove a princess movie and replace it with Hairspray which has great and empowering messages for girls.

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5 comments ↓

#1 Janet on 10.22.07 at 8:15 pm

I’ll tell you what I enjoyed most about this movie, and yes I loved it. I enjoyed that even though the subject was about a very serious issue, they were able to portay it in an upbeat positive light. In sort of a learning experience attitude and we’re moving forward. Plus it was all in song and that was really cool! The only way they got away with that though I think is because that had a lot of big names in it. I just really enjoyed the music. Michel Pfifer’s role was a little too much for me, but I still like her.

#2 Tracee on 10.22.07 at 8:44 pm

Well someone had to be Evil. She did do evil well. That’s what makes a movie like this really good.

#3 crystal on 10.23.07 at 3:54 am

I saw this movie at a big theater in Shreveport and when the movie ended, the audience applauded. I haven’t seen that happen in years! There were people there of all races and we all loved this movie.

#4 susannaaaa on 12.03.07 at 10:40 pm

My nine year old sister is falling asleep right now listening to the hairspray soundtrack. That pleased me so much that I had to have a look and see what some female bloggers had said about it; your post is spot-on. Never have I been prouder to have chosen a film to take my sister and her friends to. :)

#5 Love Drunk - High School Musical 3 - Tracee Sioux, Law of Attraction Coach — Tracee Sioux, Law of Attraction Coach on 11.21.13 at 4:11 pm

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