Hairspray (2007)

The first movie post today was supposed to be yesterday May 17 because a historic event happened on that day in 1954. The groundbreaking case Brown v. Board of Education was voted unanimously by the United States Supreme Court that segregation in schools was unlawful. This paved the way for schools to desegregate so all children receive an equal education. In 2007 movie musical Hairspray this movie follows events in Baltimore that surround segregation. Although, not taking place in a school, this movie covers why segregation is wrong.

Tracy Turnblad loves one thing: dancing. She and her best friend Penny Pingleton run to her house after school every day to watch the Corny Collins Show. When it is revealed that there is going to be an opening for the show, Tracy goes to audition. Sadly, due to her size, she things don’t go well. When Tracy gets detention for skipping school, she meets Seaweed. Unlike Tracy, Seaweed has to face discrimination due to the color of his skin. Seaweed and Tracy become fast friends after he shows her some dance moves. Seaweed informs Tracy that his mother, Motor Mouth Maybelle, is the woman behind “Negro Day” on the Corny Collins Show. Tracy tells Seaweed that is her favorite part. However, when we go behind the scenes for Negro Day we learn that Maybelle is being ridiculed by the producer of the show Velma Van Tassel. When the time arises for there to be a dance, Tracy is dancing until she sees Seaweed on the other side of the gym. Seaweed encourages Tracy to dance with some of the moves he showed her. From there Tracy is recognized by the producers for the Corny Collins Show and wins a spot. For Tracy things start to change as everyone starts to recognize her. Yet, Tracy still has to deal with her over protective and agoraphobic mother. Tracy convinces her mother to become her agent helping her out through tough times. Yet, when Velma realizes that Tracy might win “Little Miss Hairspray” over her daughter she starts to take drastic measures. Velma makes it look like she and Tracy’s father are together causing a rift in the marriage. While Velma’s daughter Amber, tells Tracy’s mother about her being in the “Negro” section of town with Penny and the show’s heart throb Link. It is at this moment that Motor Mouth Maybelle informs them that “Negro Day” has been cancelled. This upsets Seaweed’s younger sister who has been wanting to be on the show for a while. Tracy says that she will take a stand with Motor Mouth Maybelle because she knows that this is wrong. However, her heart is broken when Link tells her that he is more concerned about his career. Later that night Tracy heads out in protest of the television station for what is right. But, she is arrested when she hits a cop on the head with a sign. This leads to many exaggerating reports about her. Link realizes that he loves Tracy and goes out of his way to make thinks right. Meanwhile, Tracy has hidden at Penny’s house and ends up getting locked in by Penny’s mother. Penny and Seaweed, who are now boyfriend and girlfriend, break her out. From there a plan is devised for them to sabotage the “Little Miss Hairspray” contest the next day. The plan works with Tracy being able to make her way into the studio. Once she reclaims her platform, Link goes out and gets Seaweed’s younger sister on stage where she shows how talented she is. Edna, Tracy’s mother, sees Velma faking the votes and manages to get her on camera admitting that she has been sabotaging the contest. In the end, Inez, Seaweed’s sister, wins the Little Miss Hairspray contest with integration being permanent for the Corny Collins Show. Oh, Link and Tracy are a loving couple.

Hairspray may have taken place after the historic Brown v. Board of Education verdict on May 17, 1954. In this movie, segregation between black and white is shown through the production of television. Only for a girl to show that segregation is wrong. In Hairspray, we are introduced to a world where segregation is accepted until one person, although a little naive, spoke up.

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