Monday, August 6, 2007

More thoughts on the movie "Hairspray" and why it's so personal to me!

I needed an excuse to be out of the house so I went to see it again. John Travolta sure does make one helluva woman! Phenomenal! And Nikki Blonsky, I saw her on Oprah. The producers of Hairspray showed up at the ice cream shop where she works to break the news to her that she won the spot. Amazing talented girl.

Edna and Wilbur reminded me of my birthmother and her husband. Marcene, my birthmother plays a very traditional role in their household and one day I remember her husband bragging to me that he had never changed a diaper in his life!

I forgot to touch on the issues of fatness that come up regularly in the film. That was also deeply moving to me as I've gained so much weight in the past few years, and I feel people staring and making fun of me most days. I was so happy when Tracy got her mom to come out of the house after 11 years, and thought about how similar Marcene's life is to Edna's. (Marcene is my birthmother, she is very heavy and wedded to her housework) And the thrill of Tracy upstaging Amber in that final "Teen Baltimore" scene, Edna shaking her bootie up there, and Inez winning Teen Baltimore! Hurray to the big girls! Yes, I want to lose my weight, but I feel that the most important thing for big girls to remember is to feel proud of who they are no matter what their dress size! Kudos to Hairspray's coverage of the big girl issues! (I did not see the original, but I'll have to)

May 62, that's the time period in which Hairspray takes place. Nikki is 17, and my birthmother was just 4 months away from conceiving me in may 62 and was 17 years old.

Tracy reminds me so much of me,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,I'm definitely the one that goes against the grain and I've been in many marches and protests. I was so deeply moved by the 2nd march in the movie that I wept all the way through it.....the march where Queen Latifah is singing: "I know where I've been" what a tearjerker. I'll bet I was one of the only people in the theatre who cried through it. It felt so personal given my life experiences with race relations which I touched on in an earlier email. I can't remember who I said it to, but i once uttered the same words that were uttered in the movie: (Tracy was referring to her ability to dance) "NOT BAD FOR A WHITE CHICK!" Tracy's best friend reminds me of me too when she starts inter-racial dating; I can remember roughly around 96, I had a couple of dates with a black man and when we went to the grocery store in working class white Baltimore, I enjoyed being seen as a "rebel" just by being seen shopping with a black man in that neighborhood!

I miss dancing like that. Like Tracy did when she sneaked into the all negro classroom to learn a few moves! When I was in elementary school, Craig (my best friend at the time who I mentioned in an earlier email) had mixed race dancing parties at his house. We danced to Earth Wind and Fire, the Jackson 5, James Brown and whatever else was popular back then................

If there were non smoking disco/soul/funk dance clubs near my home, I'd probably go every week. Thank goodness for the no smoking ordinances that will soon be going into effect!

Hairspray is more than just a musical, it feels groundbreaking in the messages that it sends.

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