Boys Don T Cry Essay

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Actors perform in theaters, movies, and on shows. Their primary job is to play the role of someone else, by adorning themselves in costumes, while practicing the movements, speech, and thoughts of the character they attempt to portray. After much repetition and practice, the actors fully convince audiences of their newly created personas, only to revert back to their individual selves once the performance concludes. Judith Butler, an American philosopher and gender theorist, analyzes performances beyond the theater’s curtains. In her book, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity, Butler focuses on the portrayal of gender in society. Not only does she analyze gender as a performance, but she also questions the body and its fabrication, which leads her argument into a parody of cross-dressers in drag. Butler’s ideas of cross-dressing are exemplified in director Kimberly Peirce’s 1999 film, Boys Don’t Cry, starring Hilary Swank as Brandon, a female-to-male transgender. Chronologically filmed, Peirce captures the true story of Brandon Teena’s transgendered life as he goes through the transformation of becoming a male, only to revert back to femininity. Boys…show more content…
During the same mirror scene described earlier, after Brandon gets dressed, he watches and admires himself. As Brandon moves through male mannerisms in the mirror, it becomes evident that all boys must put on a performance to create their ideal masculine traits. Masculine walks, smiles, shoulder shrugs, etcetera, do not come naturally, but instead come with practice. The repetition of the stylization of the body proves Butler’s theory on practicing socially acceptable movements continuously until mastered. The masculine façade Brandon exemplifies changes the whole meaning of his body, as he endlessly stares in the mirror perfecting each manly

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