Danny the Douche: A Critical Analysis of Gender Representations in Grease

By Jamie Bechta, Noah Brodsky, Hailey Corkery, Anika Grevstad, Thomas Striegl, Zoey Zhou (Block 2 2017)

Grease (Original Print)“In the poster, Danny is positioned standing up, combing his hair and confidently staring at the camera with minimal facial expression. Sandy is shown lying on the car, placing her arm around Danny’s leg, looking at the camera with a big smile on her face. In “The Naked Truth: Advertising’s Image of Women,” Jean Kilbourne points out that the body language of women in advertising often implies passiveness, vulnerability, and submission. The specific codes that are used to construct femininity in advertising are further explained in Sut Jhally’s The Codes of Gender: Identity and Performance in Pop Culture when he notes that women are often portrayed lying down, a position that makes women defenseless to potential threats and more dependent on surrounding environments. He articulates that this position conveys the qualities of submission and vulnerability, which are often associated with femininity. The Grease poster adopts this trope, depicting Sandy as completely dependent on Danny.”

Grease (New Print)“The changes we made to the Grease poster challenge the gender norms that are depicted in the original. We wanted to keep both Sandy and Danny and keep the car that they are standing on in the poster but adjust how gender roles are portrayed. To do this, we experimented with different levels for Sandy and Danny in our photo shoot. In every image that we took Sandy is shown not caring for Danny whereas Danny is shown focused on Sandy. We did this through gaze and physical stance. Sandy is often depicted looking off screen away from Danny or looking directly at the camera.”

Resisting Hollywood Faux Pas: Deconstructing We’re The Millers

By Matt Cole, Jeremy Zucker, Alice Oline, Lily Green, and Emmy Heyman (Block 2 2017)

The Millers (Original Print)“Much of the comedy in We’re the Millers stems from racist caricatures of Mexicans as criminals and drug dealers, the hyper-sexualization of women, the fetishization of lesbian—especially by heterosexual men, and the supposed shame surrounding being a virgin at age 18—especially for young men. Along these lines, the movie poster reduces the characters to one word descriptions, shrouding them in more stereotypes that do not allow for the audience to see them as complex people.”

The Millers (New Print)“In our story we decided to have a contrived lesbian couple, Danni and Rhubarb, head the drug smuggling, with their recruited son and daughter, Kane and Kiki, to create the Miller-Jones family. In order to steer clear of the Mexican drug lord stereotypes, and highlight the white, upper-middle class demand for the drug trade, we revised the story so that our family was smuggling Marijuana (baked in a pie) across the Colorado-Utah border. The Miller-Jones are delivering the marijuana to an unlikely recipient: Danni’s friend from college who is undergoing chemotherapy. Because of Utah’s strict substance laws, this friend is unable to access medical marijuana, and so the Miller-Jones come to the rescue and smuggle an edibles-laced pumpkin pie across state borders.”