For the purpose of this assignment, I decided to choose the movies Heathers and Hairspray, which feature strong female leads. I thought that strong female leads in the 1980s in contrast to 2016 would be interesting because allowing women to be in the spotlight was a new concept, at the time, and women began having a greater voice in social conflicts throughout society. Additionally, women began impacting society with their viewpoints, which is still relevant today. Heathers focuses and three main social issues including class, gender, and sexuality. Similarly, Hairspray focuses on both class and sexuality, but with the added component of race, which is less prevalent in Heathers.
Both films pushed past social normalities in 1980s culture by allowing female empowerment to change society. For Veronica, in Heathers, she was able to change the dynamic of her school and rose above the popularity that she once believed was the key to success. Tracy, in Hairspray, was able to show her community that race and class did not separate people from success, but hard work and dedication were the answer to achieving one’s goals. It was interesting to see the difference of how women were portrayed in the films. In Heathers it almost seemed as if women ruled the school, which means they are valued in society. However, when sexuality is involved, it’s evident that men still have certain expectations from women. In Hairspray, women were in some positions of power, but there were still