Hairspray the movie
The movie Hairspray is an energetic movie starring Tracy Turnblad played by Nikki Blonsky. The movie is wholly entertaining and fun. In the movie, Tracy Turnblad is passionate about dancing and wants to appear in “The Corny Collins Show”. She has the skill and is naturally fit but her biggest drawback is that she cannot fit in. She is big, with big hair and an even bigger heart. She has always faced discrimination from her peers because of her plus –size figure. Her father encourages her to follow her dreams, while her mother on the other hand reminds her that the girls on the show are not plus size as she is. The determined Tracy does not let this stop her from going after her dreams. She believes she was born to dance. She performs and gains herself a spot in the show, becoming the new sensation in the show. In her quest, she gains support from her parents when they see her capable of achieving her dreams. This annoys the reigning show queen Amber Von Tussle and her evil mother Velma. With the help of her friend and family, Tracy is determined to integrate the show without changing herself.
Tracy Turnblad’s role in this historical period
The movie is drawn from the 1960’s. It is a happy movie with a musical theme. However, the setting of the play is during the historical period where racism defined the “haves and the have-nots” in the society. The main character in the movie Hairspray, Tracy Turnblad is a flabby but a happy teenager. She is so enticed by “The Corny Collins Show” that she and her best friend Penny hurry home to see after school. Her greatest aspiration is to be a dancer and she gains the attention of Link Larkin the high school dreamy hunk. The show sets aside Tuesdays as Negro day, where the black kids appear in the show. Tracy is determined to change this as she advocates for integration of the teenagers. She wants all teens to compete equally in the show. This urge is catalyzed when she notices the budding relationship between her best friend Penny and Seaweed, who are from different races. This makes her realize that the dance craze is beyond racial inequality. Tracy combines forces with Motormouth Maybelle in the fight for integration between the whites and the blacks. As much as this ends up with an arrest warrant in its place, she tries her best to bring equality between the two races. Her character portrays the ending of racial discrimination that was very distinct in the 1960’s.
Tracy’s actions compared to current roles in society
As much as racial segregation is outdated, today there is still discrimination in schools and the society in general. Race and size might not be the determining factors but one’s social status is what counts. Children from wealthy families are compared to be cool and superior because of their status. In the movie Hairspray, Tracy’s ability to pursue her dream as a dancer and her protest for equality is brave and courageous. However, in comparison to today, this would have been relatively different. This is because all races have equal rights and therefore she would only compete for a spot in the show as a plus size and not necessarily ‘not cool’. It is still perceived that leaner people are more athletic and flexible and therefore the most capable of certain talents as dancing. Her Cinderella trail of winning the affection of her rival’s boyfriend would not really play part today because of the nature of love in this day. It would not be upon her to fight for integration, but for activists or probably in her case, the school management would have addressed the issue.
How she would have acted today
If the setting of the movie was today, it is actually very notable that the theme of the movie would have changed. The movie would have probably been based on her weight loss, which is a common trend today with plus size girls striving to be leaner to gain popularity from the opposite gender. Racial segregation is not as rampant today as it was in the 60’s. There is equality for all races as everyone is treated as a human being and not secluded to his or her respective race. The movie would take the same course but not necessarily adhere to the same themes.