Analysis Of Hairspray

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Hairspray is a musical which stars a good natured overweight teenage who helps integrate the races in a popular teen dance show, the Corny Collins Show, in segregated Baltimore. It focusses on racism and segregation in the 60’s, but has the underlying theme of equality for everyone in spite of their race, class, sexual orientation, gender or outward appearance. Tracy Turnblad, an overweight teenager, finally gets a spot on the “Corny Collins Show”, a teen dance show she has always dreamt of being on. She is disturbed when she finds out the “Negroes” are allowed to dance on the show occasionally. She fights for integration despite being bullied and mocked. She catches the attention of the town’s resident heartthrob, Link, although she is not seen as “conventionally pretty”. Although Hairspray seems to support racial integration and feminism, there are aspects of the movie that prove racist and anti-feminist. I will prove this by highlighting some post-colonial concepts in the movie and using feminist concepts. I first watched this movie when it premiered in 2007— I was nine at the time. I enjoyed the comical and lighthearted dancing and singing approach the characters had to the somber situations around them. Watching this few years later and after taking a Text and Meaning course, I was struck at the sheer amount of things that stood out. The Negroes were declared “other”. In post colonialist theory, declaring one race “other” marginalizes them and stresses on how

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