Feminism in High School Musical 3

I recently watched High School Musical 3 again, and damn. I was browsing Netflix, came across the film and felt nostalgic so I watched it for the first time in a few years, and DAMN. I loved this movie when I was younger but seeing it with some more experiences and knowledge unveiled a completely new side to this film. High School Musical 3 is feminist. 

 

  1. Gabriella Montez, the lead actress of the movie, offers TROY BOLTON, the lead actor, to stay in Albuquerque to be with him for an extra year and he says no, and instead encourages her to go study chemistry at Stanford. They show how important it is for us to prioritize school and our careers at that age and not let things go to waste for a relationship, even if it a great relationship like the one Gabriella and Troy had. 
  2. RYAN EVANS IS NOT AFRAID OF PINK. He is shown as being stylish and “feminine,” characteristics that our modern society stereotype of a gay person. Assuming that Ryan is straight because he asks Kelsey out to prom, (and he seems super excited about it), he’s just a stylish, cis straight dude, which sadly we don’t see as much in the media. He is proud of who he is and loves his style and passion for theater and dance. He doesn’t give a shit what other people have to say about him and none of his classmates say anything about him wearing pink pants because that's what decent people do and because IT’S COOL. Pink pants are the move, no matter the gender or sexuality. 
  3. Troy Bolton is proud that he likes theater, although not at first, because he doesn’t want to show himself as a “sissy” to his friends and father, but at the end of the movie he stands tall and shows his love for musicals which is awesome. Again, this is something that we don’t see as much in movies and we should because it’s awesome. 
  4. THE WOMEN ARE THE SMART ONES, THE ONES THAT ARE GOING TO BE ENGINEERS, AND PRESIDENTS OF THE U.S. We’ve seen so many movies where producers show the girls as the ones supporting the men in the film or don’t seem to have ambition to achieve something big. Well, NOT HERE. Women are strong and smart and wonderful and these guys know that. 
  5. TAYLOR is not going to take less than a public announcement at the cafeteria in front of the whole school to be asked to prom. She knows what she’s worth and no one is going to make her feel any different, especially her boyfriend. When Chad tries to ask her to prom the first try, she very smoothly tells him that assuming she’s going to go with him by just for baking her some cookies is not the right call. She won’t answer to anything else than to the grand gesture she knows she wants and deserves.  

 

The movie obviously still lacks so many important things and it still has a long way to be considered progressive, especially when it comes to showing diversity in gender and sexuality, but hey, for a Disney movie that is now eleven years old, they did pretty well. Watching Disney movies for the first time after a few years and with new, and let’s say more mature eyes, it’s a whole journey. They bring back the good times where we weren't stressed about college and they let us analyze what those films actually taught us as naive  kids. 

 

 

Side note: Troy Bolton is FINE in this film.