Essay on Rhetorical Analysis Of ' Whip It

Essay on Rhetorical Analysis Of ' Whip It

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Drew Barrymore’s Whip it, follows 17 year old Bliss Cavendar on her journey to find herself through the stigmatized sport of roller derby. The film Whip It plays with themes such as the American Dream and Gender, and uses these themes to combat the normative views of femininity within America. Bliss progressive view on femininity is used to contrast her mother’s, Brooke traditional views on femininity, giving the audience a means to analyze and critique the traditional views of gender roles that is often portrayed in Hollywood. This critique will examine how Whip It uses roller derby as the catalyst to Bliss escape from her mother’s traditional views on womanhood, and how this liberation from the norm more accurately reflects the ideals of the American Dream.
The film Whip it begins with the portrayal of the traditional femininity that Bliss is so vexed by. The opening scene shows a beauty pageant where everything is simply judged off the appearance and perceived elegance of the contestants. This preferred form of femininity by Bliss’s mother Brooke, constricts the wide spectrum of what femininity is, and simply adds to the stereotypes of how a woman should act and look. This conservative view of femininity will inevitably conflict with this generation progressive views on femininity, and this is where the character of Bliss enters. From the very beginning, we see Bliss subtle rejection of her mother views on femininity, Bliss casual, bright blue hair at the beauty pageant foreshadows her rebellious spirit. This blue hair is an bold statement, especially when you consider the image these judges look for, these contestants must present themselves as being wholesome, holier-than-thou, and virtues in all aspects (Weiser, 2006). Howe...


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...the main character, Bliss. The catalyst for this liberation being roller derby, a sport in which Bliss finds herself in. Roller Derby represents a femininity that defies the gender roles placed upon women in society, it acts as a guide to Bliss own definition of the American dream. Roller derby was Bliss societal control factor that led her to accept and embrace her womanhood. Though Whip it did an exceptional job critiquing the gender roles established in today’s society, an in depth look at the relationship between gender and sexuality should be further explored. For instance a look into what it means to be a man, woman, transgender, asexual, pansexual and so on can be examined and deconstructed. This examination can explore the various forms of masculinity and femininity within these groups, and how their gender influences their view on what the American dream is.

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