The Representation Of Gender In The Films Bend It Like Beckham And Billy Elliot

2357 words - 9 pages

The Representation of Gender in the Films Bend it Like Beckham and Billy Elliot

The society we live in today is full of stereotypes. Each job, sport,
item of clothing carries and many more carries a certain stereotype.
When people go against and challenge these stereotypes they are seen
as strange and unconventional and can end up stuck with these
stereotypes for life.

In both films Billy Elliot and Bend it like Beckham we see
stereotyping but in a different way in each one. In Billy Elliot we
see a lot of stereotypes with the main ones being that boys shouldn’t
do ballet and if they do then they must be gay. In Bend it like
Beckham we also see a lot of stereotyping, with the mains ones being
that girls shouldn’t play football and that all girl footballers are
lesbians. In both films we see characters going about their lives
trying to achieve what they want to do in life, but funding obstacles
in their way because of society’s prejudices. We see a variety of
people with different views and how the main characters Billy and
Jess, overcome these stereotypes and obstacles to do what they want
and to change people’s views on them. The focus of this essay will be
to identify the stereotypes, to explain why people stereotype in this
way and how Billy and Jess change people’s views and overcome these
stereotypes.

In Billy Elliot we see stereotypes about three main people in the
film. The main and most obvious one is Billy; then there’s his dad and
then his friend Michael. Billy’s dad is stereotyped as a tough Geordie
miner, who doesn’t care what his son really wants to do; he does
what’s best for his image in society of being ‘hard’ so the society
around them respect them. He shows this image at the start when he
says he wants Billy to do a mans sport like boxing but towards the end
of the film he challenges this stereotype and changes and jus wants
his son to be happy and does what’s best for him and he is proud of
his son for what he does not caring if he loses the respect of his
friends. This shows how he overcame the stereotype he had of being
‘tough’ and changed to back his son not caring what society thought of
him. Billy’s friend Michael shows a stereotype that Geordies can’t be
gay, as he is scared of everyone in society finding out as he feels
that he wont be accepted because Geordies have a image of being
‘tough’ and he feels that he will ruin this image so he wont be
accepted. In the film Michael also highlights one of the stereotypes
that Billy has, that he must be gay because he does ballet. This shows
how Billy gets stereotyped, even by his best friend, as being gay just
because he does ballet. Billy also gets stereotyped when he’s young,
as going to be a miner like the rest of his family, but when he says
he doesn’t want to, and wants to do ballet, which is said to...

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