Hairspray Shows Girls That Boys Like It When You Are Rreal
by Jay LaRico
As Hairspray opens in theaters across America, Hey U.G.L.Y., the teen self-esteem and diversity-building nonprofit organization is hoping all teens will rush out to see it.
The musical is about Tracy Turnblad (Nikki Blonsky) who is a big girl with big hair and an even bigger heart. Her dream is to appear on Baltimore’s hippest TV dance party. Tracy is a great dancer and a natural fit for the show except for her plus-sized figure which has always set her apart from the cool crowd. After winning a spot on the show, Tracy wins the heart of not only he viewing audience but also gorgeous Link Larkin (Zac Efron).
“We think the movie will show teen girls that they don’t have to be a size 2 in order to fit in or find love,” explained Betty Hoeffner, Hey U.G.L.Y.’s president. “We have been interviewing teen boys and found that what they care about the most is that the girl is confident and happy with herself. Plus, some teens are just more attracted to girls who are athletic and others like girls who are plus-sized, like Hairspray’s heroine, Tracy Turnblad.
“To girls out there my advice is that what matters is character, sense of humor, hobbies and interests, fun and conversation,” said Zac Efron in the July 13 issue of The Sun. “I do like girls with curves. I don’t like the stick thin girls that you see in Hollywood. Size zero models may be great in theory but when you see them in person you realize there’s not much there. I like a girl that is happy and healthy.”
On HBO’s First Look at Hairspray Nikki Blonsky said, “the time is coming for people who are different. You can just be who you are and you don’t have to try to be anybody else.”
Let’s hope she’s right. Today we are seeing plus-sized entertainers winning the hearts of America. Just look at America Ferrara who has captured our hearts with her smash hit Ugly Betty. There’s also Jennifer Hudson, Oscar-winner from Dream Girls and Jordan Sparks this year’s American Idol winner.
These starlets let their inner beauty shine which is what Link finds attractive in Tracy. Tracy is fun, kind and caring. She doesn’t have to struggle with trying to achieve the elusive perfection that her nemesis, Amber Von Tussel (Brittany Snow) struggles with. Amber, and other girls trying to be the perfect size and in the perfect clique, sometimes have it harder than those not in the “in” crowd. “There is a lot of pressure to be prettier and skinnier,” said Hoeffner. “Each day, instead of being free to enjoy life they are consumed with comparing themselves to others whether they are celebrities, friends or even strangers walking down the street. That constant nagging in the back of their minds as to whether their thighs are as skinny as this girl’s or their hair is as shinny as that girl’s is exhausting and demoralizing.”
“Pretty people can be just as damaged as ugly people or fat people,” said Michelle Pfeiffer in the March issue of Allure. “And in some ways more because beautiful women tend to get used. And sometimes, their self-esteem is so wrapped up in the way they look that they allow themselves to be victimized much more than somebody whose self-worth isn’t all wrapped up in their face or their body.” Pfeiffer plays Amber’s mom in Hairspray
In a recent issue of Glamour, writer Christian Wright said, “Few of us measure our intelligence against the bar set by Albert Einstein, or our tennis ability by Venus Williams’ trophy case. We’re inspired, not discouraged, by their achievements: We still go to college, and we still pick up our rackets and play. So why do we get so down on ourselves when we don’t stack up physically to the genetic anomaly that is Gisele Bundchen?
In Wright’s article Nancy Etcoff, Ph.D., author of Survival of the Prettiest: The Science of Beauty said, “…..those who place the most importance on looks are the most unhappy.”