Comparing Girls And Girlhoods

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With each new decade comes a new perception of girls made popular by the film industry. Girls themselves, as well, are changing as decades pass. In the cinematic classics Grease (1978), as depicted in the fifties, Clueless (1995), and Legally Blonde (2001), the films’ heroines have all been framed in the image of the best young female form of that decade by means of their looks, behavior, and place in society. As time goes by between each film, it is clear that girls and girlhoods have progressed by how the young ladies in the movies are portrayed. From the great importance of style and personality in Grease, to the air-headedness and mass consumerism seen in Clueless, along with the hybridity of those focuses seen in Legally Blonde, these…show more content…
In comparing those movies and in comparing Grease, Clueless, and Legally Blonde, it is made clear that these movies, old and new, seem to exaggerate a stereotypical idea of girls and/or girlhoods. Kelly and Pomerantz suggest that the films they comment on in their article do “not go far enough in challenging social inequities that oppress girls. Instead, these films portray girls struggling bleakly with larger social structures that go unnamed: ... and oppressive constructions of gender, race, and class. The reduction of these social structures to individualistic “problems” keeps the characters from accessing the tools and the language necessary for a deeper analysis of power.” This quote seems to imply that the exaggeration of girls and girlhood in movies stems from the female characters’ restriction from challenging the inequalities they face and their dealing with significant problems on their own. By these characters not being able to, as so in Grease, stand up to the guys in school that make sexist comments at them or by their unaccompanied dealing with a pregnancy scare, they repress their troubles and are deprived from gaining strength and properly moving on from such unfortunate events. Therefore, it only makes sense that, to hide the negativity that comes with the repression, the film industry will exaggerate girlhood for entertainment value. For example, Rizzo’s…show more content…
Unlike Sandy and Rizzo, Cher, the main character in Clueless, where what they want, whenever they want. For example, one scene in the movie shows Cher wearing a knee-length, pink, and feathery dress, representing the good girl persona in Grease. The scene showing the next day has Cher wearing a black leather short skirt and jacket set, representing a bad girl persona in Grease. She shows, through fashion, the god and bad girl image without having to change her personality. Cher’s confidence plus the nineties being a better time for women to be themselves gives her the freedom to wear what they want whenever they

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