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Lemonade Mouth Is My “Roman Empire”

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Tampa chapter.

Social media has been buzzing with the newest trend– “What is your Roman Empire?” The trend began with women asking their boyfriends, dads, and brothers how often they, as men, think about the Roman Empire. It has now evolved into women finding crazy coincidences in the niches that float around in their heads daily, anywhere from Stevie Nicks singing “Silver Springs” to the thought of being kidnapped.

I, without a doubt, am certain that the 2011 Disney Channel Original Movie Lemonade Mouth is my “Roman empire.” I’ve seen this movie about ten times. I painted the words “be heard, be strong, be proud” on an old record in my bedroom. I decorated my high school graduation cap to look like Stella’s iconic “Question Authority” shirt. Of course, my school told me I couldn’t wear the cap topper across the stage (quite fitting, might I add).

Whenever I hear someone say, “What’s the point of the lemonade?,” the prepared rant that lives in the back of my brain is activated. It was never about the lemonade! At its center, Lemonade Mouth was a movie about young people fighting against the repression of the arts. The Mel’s Lemonade machine sits in the basement with all of the non-sports programs. Meanwhile, the rival soft drink, Turbo Blast, is sold in machines upstairs because their company paid for the school’s new stadium.

Moving forward, the band is not specifically using the removal of Mel’s Lemonade to start a riot. The school greedily using incoming money is the real reason. In the end, Mel’s Lemonade grants the school the funding to open up an auditorium. This is how it all circles back to the symbolism of lemonade. By fighting for the arts, the teenagers had all the important programs moved out of the basement.

Moving on, I’d like to talk about the culturally shifting moment when Mo takes the mic and sings “She’s So Gone.” This was her “Reflection” moment. It was her “Let It Go,” and it was her “Defying Gravity.” We saw her true personality and that she had something to say. Many young women I know have told me that they were empowered by this scene.

Generation Z is being projected to change the political sphere in their time. I can’t help but think about this movie airing to millions of children in their formative years. It’s how I learned that my voice was important and that the world is nothing without the arts. This movie is everything to me, and I will always find the right (or wrong) moment to reference it. I might just go watch it for the eleventh time.

Casey LaPlaca has been a member for the Her Campus at Tampa chapter since coming to the University. Her articles chronicle her consumption of art and media; also her occasional observations about injustices and inconsistencies. Beyond Her Campus, Casey is a Junior at the University of Tampa, specializing in Design with a double minor in Writing and Advertising. Her passion for art and expression lies in her lived experiences, which she writes about here and reflects on as a member of the Diversity Advisory Board at her University. Casey believes in both keeping a positive attitude and practicing the art of decompressing through rewatching a sitcom. She invites readers to sit back and enjoy a cold milkshake while we get nostalgic and/or enlightened.