Hairspray Live! Showcased Inequalities Still Happening in 2016
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Hairspray Live! Showcased Inequalities Still Happening in 2016

We can always hope the residue of the Jim Crow era will finally disappear

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Hairspray Live! Showcased Inequalities Still Happening in 2016
Brian Bowen Smith // NBC

In a world where remakes, reboots and sequels, the same story seems to be re-told over and over again. I will be the first one to tell you that I am NOT the biggest fan of remakes, yet Hollywood loves the movie-remake craze. The latest remake that I was skeptical about was 'Hairspray Live!'

Now don't get me wrong — I am a huge fan of the 2007 movie, 'Hairspray' (I know, its a remake, but its the one case where I prefer the remake over the original). I was confused when I first started seeing commercials for Hairspray Live! because this was the fourth time Hollywood was trying to wow audiences with the same story line.

The original film is nearly thirty years old and even then, was set in 1962 Baltimore. The social unrest in the 1950's regarding the segregation and inequalities against black Americans exploded into widespread demonstrations in the 60's. Now, in 2016 inequalities are still happening to people of color, LGBT individuals and women. Hairspray is a timeless story relating to political turmoil, no matter the decade.

The 2016 election has shown that America is diverse, yet still divided by misogyny, harassment and hate speech. Hairspray Live! came at the right moment —rehashing a classic story with political undertones when America needed it the most.

Inclusiveness and Acceptance

Tracy Turnblad's dream is to become a dancer on the Corny Collin's Show. After landing a spot on the show, she begins fighting the shows racial segregation policies to make The Corny Collins Show more inclusive. A second grade lesson (to most) of inclusiveness and acceptance is one many need to take notice of.

Body Positivity

One of the sweetest songs in the films, broadway shows and Hairspray Live! is 'Welcome to the 60's'. Tracy sings the song to her overweight mother who hasn't left the house in 11 years afraid of what the neighbors might think and say about her heaviness. The song 'Without Love' also showcases that love looks at what is in the inside, not the outside.

Gift of Love

We can always hope than in 2016, the residue of the Jim Crow era will fully disappear. In all four installments of Hairspray, Penny falls in love with an African-American boy named Seaweed Stubbs, the son of Motormouth Maybelle. She says, "Well, love is a gift, a lot of people don't remember that. So, you two better brace yourselves for a whole lotta ugly comin' at you from a neverending parade of stupid."


While the differences in plots and songs have altered the story of Hairspray over the years, Hairspray Live! still showcased the same message of acceptance and understanding that all human beings deserve.



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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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