Gender Roles In The Film Paris Is Burning

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The film I chose for my final research paper was Paris is Burning, because although we viewed 2 other films about gender roles, I believe it represented all of the gender roles found in society. Livingston was able to dive into the world of the New York City drag balls and give the viewers an insight to race, class, gender, and sexuality in America. She was able to depict this by conducting interviews with “legends” in the ball scene but also footage of ball competitions and the interaction of gay and transgender people in normal society. My thesis revolves around how Livingston showed that gender is a role performed by society not a reality. One of the main topics that represents the performance that is gender is the different categories in the balls. From executive realness to butch queen, every group was represented. Livingston chose to conduct interviews of the people that participate in the categories interspersed with shots people competing in the different ball categories. First, Pepper LaBeija had a close-up interview with many hand motions and explained the purpose of the categories. At the start of the ball subculture, members wanted to dress up like …show more content…
It states that while Paris has no reenactments, the drag queens did “reenact” sexual, social, economic, and racial identities they have seen in social media. The performances stage experiences of the ball goers themselves that are largely unavailable to them in every day life. An important quote from the article was “the film shows how lifestyle, identity, and, indeed, “realness” are all based on the repetition of images, acts, and performances already in circulation.” This directly represents my thesis because these people while trying to be a part of the real world must perform real world situations in order to blend in. The performances show that in reality everyone plays a role or is “in

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