All posts by Meghan Voss

White Chicks: Stay in yo lane

I’m not black. I’m not any minority for that matter. I can’t begin to explain the personal repercussions of the dominant culture effects on my culture, because I’m a member of the dominant culture. That is not to say I don’t understand that these problems exist, but I believe it would be insensitive to attempt to explain these feelings which I cannot relate to.

The fact of the matter is: racial stereotypes exist, and with the current state of society, they are not going anywhere. It’s a matter of nurture over nature. People of a specific culture aren’t born with some pre-disposition to participate in it; the color of their skin has no genetic impact on what their ears’ will find pleasurable to further dictate what genre of music they will prefer. Rather, they are raised with society telling them how their race should behave, and many oblige.        `

It becomes a slippery slope. As all aspects of culture become attributed by society to specific racial cultures, there are only so many options an individual has. They can do one of three things: they can participate in the culture prescribed to them by their race, they can attempt to lend themselves to another minority’s culture which can often be seen as problematic, or they can forgo their individuality and participate in the dominant culture. All would seem to be rather caging.

As individuals choose to play into these racial stereotypes, consciously or not, they submit themselves to being held captive to the lower-class that minorities are reserved to within the social structure. As specific races are reduced to a rank below the majority race, the culture that coincides stereotypically with that race in turn becomes indicative of a lower rank in society as well. I of course do not condone this, but a simple stroll through the media can prove that it occurs.

But what if one were capable of participating in that culture without being recognized as a member of it? Can these lines then just be blurred, or can individuals choose to jump back and forth at will like some game of hop scotch? At what point would that cease?

It becomes increasingly more and more problematic. Yet it occurs.

It can be seen with culturally inappropriate Halloween costumes. The majority culture temporarily donning themselves with a costume that for other cultures, is just who they are. It becomes an attempt for the majority to find an exception for which they are exempt from being chastised for cultural appropriation, though it is never okay. I recall a former basketball teammate from back in sixth grade. She was a white girl from a wealthy suburban neighborhood. It is well-documented in culture that basketball and hip-hop have a close partnership. But this individual chose to take that to an extreme, attempting to act “hood” and “gangster” to the extent of even dubbing herself an “inside-out oreo” despite living in the suburbs of San Diego, and in all physical appearance, being of an entirely white genetic makeup. These behaviors did not continue as others acknowledged the issues associated with the situation, but the question still becomes: why? It goes beyond why individuals feel they should be allowed to do, which I think can be chalked up to privileged individuals who are unaccustomed to being told “no.” But why would an individual choose to do this? What are they trying to escape from in their culture? For an individual who is a member of the dominant culture, and then given this privilege simply for being a member of that, what is the individual attempting to escape from?

Take White Chicks for example: a movie in which the entire premise is emphasizing these racial stereotypes for satirical purposes, specifically those associated with the majority culture, as the main characters, two black male cops, Kevin and Marcus, go undercover as two “white chicks” from the Beverley Hills, Tiffany and Brittany, wearing complete costumes to entirely physically resemble these women.

The main characters would have not had to go undercover were it not that Brittany and Tiffany were involved in a slight car accident, resulting in some minor scratches on their faces. Physically, they are still in great health, yet they are so unafraid of presenting themselves to the public eye looking anything less than perfect that this entirely holds them back from enjoying what they have dubbed “the last important weekend of the social season.” One of the twins even ventures to tote this event as “like the worst day of [her] life.”

And this is just the beginning of the examples showing the importance of such events, and the importance of their physical beauty, as they seek self-worth within popularity and fame. This is what they see to be the “perceived constraints of whiteness.” This obsession with their appearance, accompanied by a lack of intelligence, becomes not only the highlighting features of these characters, but the center-point of their entire beings.

Similar to their extreme focus on physical appearance, this lack of intelligence is taken to an extreme, as a New York Times review notes that, “If it’s possible to libel spoiled, empty-headed socialites, the Wayans have done it: nobody could be this stupid” (Kehr.) This is further demonstrated when the posse of three girls is trying on outfits, and one of the girls takes on a particularly self-deprecating manner towards how her weight appears in these outfits. She comments about herself whilst looking in the mirror, “Hi I’m Cellulite Sally, look at my huge bedonkey. Now who could have said that? Yeah, it’s Tina the talking tummy. I can’t even wear a short skirt… and a top without looking like a fat pig… Somebody throw Shamu back in the ocean!”


As White Chicks takes these character’s obsessions with their looks to an extreme, it does so in a satirical manner, highlighting and poking fun at what these white women would consider to be their burden as popular, privileged members of society. They acknowledge that the media and the other class members have certain expectations in place for how they should look and behave, and they see that as their struggle, which may seem stressful from their narrow-minded perspective presented in the movie, but realistically is quite minimal in the grand scheme of things.

Examples of this shallow asphyxiation to looks and material things are riddled throughout reality television and all mass media. The Kardashians have made themselves a franchise based off that. While instances of it may go unnoticed, it occurs frequently enough to not be considered incredibly noteworthy. However, White Chicks did receive some praise from the likes of Shannon Luders-Manuel, who explained how White Chicks succeeds by “challenging racial stereotypes… through satirization of those very stereotypes” (Luders-Manuel.)


The most important scene in the movie, though, occurs when the girls are all in the car, singing along to the radio station. The next song comes on, a rap song, and forgetting their covers Kevin and Marcus get super hyped up while rapping along and, whilst shouting out the lyrics, blurt out the n-word without even thinking about it. The three white girls are shocked by this action though, and cannot believe that they would use such language or behave in such a manner, as they are pretending to be Tiffany and Brittany in this moment. In attempt to cover for themselves, they retort that it’s okay because “nobody’s around,” as if white people saying the n-word were like a tree falling in the forest: it’s not a problem if black people aren’t around to be offended. Despite the incredibly misguided logic in this statement, the other girls are more than ready to believe it, and follow in line. When the scene ends, the girls are all dancing and shouting the lyrics at the top of their lungs, as if they’ve just been waiting their whole lives for someone to invite them into black culture and tell them that it’s okay to behave that way. Yet as these actions take place in private, without the watchful eye of the media, it allows them to jump across the boundary with no repercussions; they don’t even have to face being associated with the minority race, and are able to continue on knowing that they will never have to relinquish their privilege, despite partaking briefly.

This perfectly exemplifies how White Americans are prone to consuming blackness. However, it must be noted that this only occurs when it is seen as convenient or beneficial to the individuals. When rappers are celebrating their blackness, suddenly individuals try to consume those aspects of blackness so that they can participate. In these cases, the white individuals are just afraid of feeling left out, because clearly privilege isn’t enough to keep an individual satisfied. I feel it is safe to say though that you likely won’t find a white individual attempting to consume blackness when in the presence of law enforcement. It won’t benefit the white individuals in any way, so they’ll make the choice not to consume it. But that ability, in itself, is the whole problem; that choice. Black individuals don’t have that choice. They look black, so they will be perceived as belonging to that black culture until proven otherwise, and even still, any newcomer will continue to make that same assumption. As it connects to an arbitrary physical trait of skin color, it makes it impossible for the choice to be made to entirely disassociate oneself from their racial culture, no matter how much effort is put into it, because until the structure of our current society fundamentally changes, these races and cultures will still be associated together, and race is inescapable.

There are aspects of these cultures outside my own that I appreciate greatly. Not because they are dubbed “ethnic,” as would be value enough to some, but because there is indeed significant merit to many aspects of other cultures. Asserting that white culture is the dominant culture is rather not me ceding that it is actually the better culture, but rather it is just a remark on the fact that it is the culture intertwined with the group in power. I could then choose to readily consume these other cultures; it is entirely possible. I mean, what if nobody’s around? And, if I did, and began to blur that line, where would the line come which could not be smudged? As one line begins to blur, everything begins to fall apart. Showing respect and appreciation for a culture outside your own has a quite markedly different impact than attempting to adopt and consume outside cultures. And I intend not to cross that barrier.










Works Cited

Kehr, Dave. “FILM REVIEW; F.B.I. Agents in Drag Enjoy Wild Hamptons Weekend.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 23 June 2004.

Luders-Manuel, Shannon. “Humor and Race in ‘Dear White People’ and ‘White Chicks.’” JSTOR Daily, 3 Mar. 2017.

“White Chicks Script – Dialogue Transcript.” White Chicks Script – Transcript from the Screenplay and/or Wayans Brothers Movie.


A prior version was read by Margaret Meehan

Written in the style of Chuck Klosterman.

Lil Dicky, The (Class) Clown of Carnival

Lil Dicky, The Class Clown of Carnival

By Meghan Voss

“This display of creativity strays from convention, an immediate indication that he’s here to turn the game on its head” (Fairfax). This comes from an assessment of Lil Dicky’s most recent album, as the rapper has begun gaining legitimate respect from what began as merely jokes put to a beat.

Lil Dicky was born in an upper middle class white family in the suburbs of Pennsylvania. He graduated from the University of Richmond to pursue a career at an advertising agency. A few years ago, however, he decided to take his class clown nature professionally by attempting to make a career out of his funny raps and videos. And that’s exactly what he did. In the summer of 2015, “Lil Dicky Laugh[ed] His Way to a No. 1 Rap Album” (Billboard).

Many critics, while initially quite suspicious of his actual rapping ability, have begun to join into the Lil Dicky fandom. Praised for how he is pushing the boundaries of the rap game, Lil Dicky attempts to meld the usually un-accredited anti-rap or joke-rap subculture with some actual bars accompanied by a respectable flow, as he has worked diligently on honing his rapping skills.

Not only is Lil Dicky known for having a stronger creative side than many others rappers in the industry, but he is attempting to reinvent success within the rap game. This past year he released his first full album, Professional Rapper. However, his most notable achievement so far and where his success all started came from his music videos on YouTube. His first release, “Ex-Boyfriend,” went viral, topping one million views in just the first day. Since then, he has released several more music videos which have been similar in their ability to elicit laughter as they creatively accompany and bolster the lyrics of the song itself.

Anti-rap, a subgenre of the rap industry, is typically characterized as rap that makes frequent use of comedy and other sorts of humor, especially in self-deprecating or satirical manners. And at the forefront of this new subgenre, comes Lil Dicky. Nubi Magazine praised him for “his ability to present the mundane both satirically and factually at the same time” as what really makes him stand out, as well as the way he “presents the things people think about and do in private into the public forum via hip-hop.” While some of his subject matter is typically not included in rap songs for the matter of it just being “mundane,” a lot of his subject matter seems to not typically be discussed for reasons beyond that. While it is tough to consider rap to have too much of a barrier on what can and cannot be discussed, because, let’s face it, rappers tend to be fairly unbothered by approaching crude and offensive topics, Lil Dicky seems to take that line and play jump-rope with it. Archetypally, in rap songs, these crude topics are employed merely to allow rappers to brag about their lifestyle; subjects focus on the F.B.G.M. (fuck bitches, get money) mantra to show the rest of the world how much they’re “balling out.” However, Lil Dicky appears to discuss this subject from a different angle. While he addresses the same topics in his songs quite frequently, he comes at it from a much different angle, leaving the listener with an entirely different impression of Lil Dicky than would have another rapper from discussing a similar event due to the manner in which he presents it. While incredibly degrading to women, when most rappers discuss sex, they do so in a way to effectively make their audience wish they were in the rapper’s place, hoping to have as much “game” with women as they do. Yet when Lil Dicky discusses sex, he describes it much more realistically, and while still highlighting his “conquests,” he comes off as, well, rather soft. Interestingly enough however, Lil Dicky acknowledges this about himself, and has come to embrace it, as he attempts to follow a new path within the industry. To this point, he begins to emulate the idea of carnival, as he breaks the rules of the genre and generates an aura of humor from bad taste and his approach to exploring subjects (English 117).

        In Lil Dicky’s “Lemme Freak” music video, it takes the viewer along on his journey to try to have sex with a woman he meets at the club. Yet even from the title of the song itself, a difference between Lil Dicky’s style and the average rapper can already be acknowledged. Rappers tend to act as if women are just throwing themselves at them, as if it just comes with the lifestyle. However, already from the title of the song Lil Dicky’s desperation can be noted, as he legitimately begs this girl to have sex with him. In the video, he approaches the woman with the typical rapper swagger and confidence, but she doesn’t even know who he is. Consequently, he breaks into a spiel bragging on his accomplishments, though meanwhile manages to satirize the manner in which most rappers brag, as the achievements he brings up are far from notable. He boasts, “Look, I’m athletic, girl. I’ve gotten several rec-league MVP’s. At my crib, I’ve got some pizza plus a little bit of weed. In my room, I’ve got a TV plus I recently did sheets. Girl, I even have a fridge that has the water on the door like with the crushed ice.” Even in his attempt to show off, he comes off as fairly hopeless in his chances, a large divide between most other members of the industry.

On the basis of having bad taste, some can be found in nearly every set of bars by the rapper, as he is anything but shy when it comes to stating the truth. Whether he is going into detail about sex, or commenting on a gross habit, or simply discussing everyday activities, his lyrics are brimming with examples. Take his freestyle on Tim Westwood’s show for example. He raps, “I give no fucks, I’m farting at the urinal.” Bathroom humor accompanied by just a truly disgusting habit is truly the epitome of bad taste; there aren’t many combinations worse than that which would still be found as humorous.

Nevertheless, people still enjoy Lil Dicky’s anti-rap style, debuting at Number 7 on the Billboard 200 chart. As he attempts to break the rules of the rap industry through finding success in his bad taste and breaking the stereotypes, he appears to be changing up the game. He asserts in Professional Rapper that “ain’t nobody else doing funny type rap,” and “nah that’s my niche, don’t get offended by this, but that’s the market y’all miss, that’s the target I’ll hit, I wanna do this whole thing different.” It is carnivalesque, in a sense, as he rebels against the precedent that has been upheld for years within the industry with how successful rappers should and should not behave, as well as the tried and true topics for verse that typically are most well received by the public and have the best chances of being admired.

In the music video for the title track off his most recent album, Professional Rapper, Lil Dicky presents the story of how he ended up in the position he is in, as he performs essentially a skit through verse with one of the indisputable kings of the industry, Snoop Dogg. When Lil Dicky first enters for his interview, Snoop is even portrayed sitting behind his desk atop a throne. While Snoop’s reputation typically precedes him, this introduction really blatantly spells it out for the viewer. While Lil Dicky in real life has done his production on his own, it is interesting to find that in the song he requests for Snoop Dogg to hire him and take him under his wing, as if it is impossible to succeed without his assistance. Lil Dicky seems to go against his values in this way, as he is often found making a mockery of the methods that have made the most prominent names in the industry incredibly successful. While a true champion of the carnival would continue in this form in accordance with flipping the hierarchy, Lil Dicky backtracks in this way, as he is requesting assistance from the “king” figure in order to reach new heights as an artist.

For Lil Dicky to manage to flip the hierarchy in any way, nevertheless, it would first have to be established that he is emerging from the lower levels society. While Lil Dicky presents himself as somewhat of an underdog in the rap industry, which may be partially true from a respect standpoint as he contrasts the stereotypical rapper, with all the advantages he possesses he is realistically far from that. Much of rap focuses on people struggling from nothing to make it in the rap game, whereas Lil Dicky admits in the video that he used his own Barmitzvah money to pay for the production of his first mixtape. Furthermore, he prides himself on his lyricism and clever, well-crafted use of satire in his verses. Nevertheless, he is a college graduate which equips him with a foundation of education to aid him. This is a benefit that most other rappers do not obtain.

Evidence of this could not be any more densely provided that it is in his song, “White Dude.” He audaciously acknowledges all the privilege that he was born with, as the hook sings, “Cuz the way I’m livin life, is a muthafuckin joy. On some grown man B.I., I could have been a girl, or any ethnicity up in the world, but I’m rollin with the top back. I ain’t gotta worry where the cops at. I ain’t gotta wear a fucking bra strap. Me and the crew, are really doing everything that we like to, man it’s a damn good day to be a white dude.” Writer Sam Rosen explains this quite well, as he states that, “Lil Dicky is constantly lamenting the fact that he is not Black while simultaneously celebrating the spoils of white privilege” (Rosen). Lil Dicky acts like a carnival figure, as he explores breaking the rules and stereotypes of rap music, accompanied by a large dose of what would be considered bad taste even for rap, yet his carnival is exclusive, as he would be unable to achieve this without his privilege. Further, he excludes many other minority groups from even enjoying in his carnival videos, as while he attempts to be very relatable, he only achieves this for other white males. Even though his raps are created with the understanding that he is joking, they are based in enough truth that it would be very reasonable to say that there were likely very few minorities laughing at his pretentious flaunt that he doesn’t have to “worry where the cops at.”

Further, this privilege can also be seen through how other members of society interact with him. In the $ave Dat Money music video, Lil Dicky endeavors to create a boujee rap video with all the stereotypes (Lamborghini, mansion, club, yacht, etc.) at no cost. As they stroll through Beverly Hills, he convinces an older woman to let him borrow her mansion to shoot film in for a period of time. With the racism still present in our society, it is unlikely that a minority would be trusted the same way to just lend the house over. Once again, Lil Dicky is found using his privilege as an upper-class white male to bring him his success.

It is this distinction with the mass amounts of privilege that Lil Dicky clearly possesses that distinguishes his carnival rap subgenre from being legitimately liberating, as while it provides an escape from many stereotypes of the culture industry for some, it cannot for all, as it is still fervent with racism and sexism specifically through his privilege as a white male in society. To be truly liberating the carnival must be open to all groups of people, whereas Lil Dicky seems to only target the select group like himself. Rather than ultimately flipping the hierarchy, he reasserts it, entangling his non-stereotypical brand of rap back with the same ideologies that carnival is meant to find freedom from.


English 117, Intro to Cultural Theory.

Fairfax, Jesse. “Lil Dicky – Professional Rapper.” HipHopDX, 3 Sept. 2015.

Mendizabal, Amaya. “Lil Dicky Laughs His Way to a No. 1 Rap Album.” Billboard, 12 Aug. 2015.

Millard, Drew. “Lil Dicky Isn’t a White Supremacist, He’s Just an Asshole.” Noisey, 17 Oct. 2014.

Page, Will. “The Rise of Anti-Rap.” NUBI, 11 Aug. 2015.

Rosen, Sam. “Nothing Was the Same.” The Indy, The College Hill Independent, 4 Nov. 2013.

Ogres, Onions, and Their Lack of Layers

Not too long ago, the Mattel fashion doll “Barbie” was a young girl’s favorite toy.  Barbie and Ken could be found in nearly every toy chest, children using their imaginations to play out perfect fantasies with the dolls. And that became the goal, to not only obtain such a fantasy, but to look like Barbie. Unfortunately, that is entirely impossible. According to Daily Mail, if Barbie were an actual human, she would be “incapable of lifting her neck” due to her length to thickness ratio, her oversized head, the fact that there is “only have room for half a liver” due to her waist size, and due to her small feet in proportion to the rest of her frame she “would have to walk on all fours.”1 Children are left with a highly impractical notion of what is considered beautiful, chasing a dream which cannot be caught.

Similarly, traditional children’s movies have undergone some criticism for the ideologies they tend to push upon the impressionable viewers. On a casual viewing, they may appear to be simply good-hearted and inspirational, but realistically they are far from as innocent as their target audience. Rather, they do not remain free from society’s grasp; they are still fervent with ideology. These movies promulgate orthodox standards of beauty and fairytale dreams, which are often unrealistic and as a result, leave children with dreams that will ultimately fall short. However, it poses the question: is this always the case?

The Dreamworks film, Shrek, attempts to reject these beauty standards by having ogres as its main characters. So, this means the movie must be free from the shackles of restrictive gender norms then, right?

        Indeed, Shrek is not your stereotypical idea of Prince Charming, which Princess Fiona even acknowledges when she first sees him take his helmet off. Yet when examined further, this break from the stereotypes is fairly surface level. Initially, when Lord Farquaad is searching for who he should recruit to rescue the princess, he gathers all of the top knights in DuLoc. He says to his guards, “Gather your best men.”2 This already insinuates the idea that the only members of society that could be tough enough to undergo such a quest are males rather than females. Such masculinist ideas are not uncommon, but are worth pointing out nonetheless. Further, even though Shrek is not one of the knights chosen by Lord Farquaad, let alone a knight at all, he still defiantly defeats all of the knights. In this way, he is not some meager being on this journey, even though he is slightly portrayed as the scrappy underdog figure when he sets out on this adventure. Rather, he is taller and stronger than any of the other knights that had been up for selection, making him in some ways an even more masculine figure than the others, pushing this perspective of height and strength being necessary for the valor.

Furthermore, it should be noted that the movie presents the proverbial plot with a princess in need of rescuing. While Princess Fiona is displayed later to be slightly more self-sufficient than previous movie princesses, she is still depicting as needing the help of some valiant person to free her, and is incapable of doing so on her own. This notion seems to be mostly in her head, as when Shrek arrives at her chamber, she closes her eyes and pretends to be asleep while she waits for him to kiss her, willingly submitting herself to this fairytale idea of a helpless damsel in distress. Throughout the rescuing process, she criticizes the situation for not being “how it’s supposed to be” as if life is not worth living if it is not in accordance with these fairy tale ideas.2 This ideology has been pushed upon her, manipulating her for so long through this royalty and magic community, and with her behavior in these scenes she continues to perpetuate and support these ideas. The princess has spent so long in this tower awaiting her happily ever after, and even with the ever so slightly more unconventional path taken to get there, at the finale of the movie the princess and her savior are pictured riding off into the sunset in their carriage. Happiness, in the case of this movie, is consistently associated with the finding of true love. The song playing while Shrek goes to the castle to rescue the princess even states, “I’m on my way from misery to happiness today.”2 Essentially, all of the sadness portrayed in the beginning of the film is chalked up to simply being loneliness while waiting to find true love, as if that will immediately solve all problems.

These clichéd gender roles are omnipresent throughout the film. Even before we are introduced to Princess Fiona, the magic mirror presents the “eligible bachelorettes” to Lord Farquaad as if they are prizes on a gameshow, then insinuating that these women are up for his ownership.2 In this case, the women are worth nothing more to Farquaad than a path to the crown. Essentially, Farquaad dehumanizes women by treating them as property or like a farm animal. Later, when they arrive at the castle and are searching for the dragon, Donkey asks Shrek, “Where is this fire breathing pain in the neck anyway?” to which Shrek retorts, “inside waiting for us to rescue her,” once again poking fun at women and their value to society.2 And these examples only continue. On the way back from the castle, the princess is constantly very demanding, and complains until Shrek physically shuts her up, demonstrating the idea that women are annoying for their chatter, and further that it is acceptable to exploit their physical dominance over a woman if she is being annoying. When Fiona feels bad about her actions in the morning, she wakes up early to cook breakfast for the males, which is yet another stereotype about how women belong in the kitchen, and that women’s worth is to carry out minor tasks for the man while the man’s job is to provide. In the same fashion, when they make camp at night, Fiona remarks that she needs to add some “homey touches” to the place, reinforcing the typical role of women as homemakers, as women can only be trusted for tasks such as decorating and cooking.2 Even in a movie where they attempt to make the princess seem like less like a classic royalty figure, with her willingness to belch publicly for example, the alterations made to her character are still fairly surface-level, not going any deeper than manners and the ogre exterior at night. Even as they try to make her seem tougher, when she fights Robin Hood’s men, the camera cuts to slow motion in the middle of a high-kick so that she can fix her hair. The directors cannot even manage to provide a full scene of the princess behaving in an independent, tough manner without throwing something in that resorts her back to the feminine role, showing her caring just as much about how she looks as she does with her own survival in this adrenaline-filled scene.

In addition to the reinforcement of the stereotypical gender roles of women, Shrek ridicules deviations from idealized masculinity. Lord Farquaad’s character embodies the penalties of toxic masculinity in drawn out and exemplified physical form. Shrek, being the tall, strong masculine character, consistently pokes fun at Lord Farquaad for his lack of height, a recurring point of humor in the film. For example, when Shrek and Donkey first arrive at Farquaad’s castle in DuLoc, noticing how oversized it is, Shrek notes, “Do you think he’s compensating for something?”2 While it is clear that he is speaking toward Farquaad being so small in stature and most likely his size below the belt as well, this insinuates that small stature is a deviation from the masculine ideal requiring compensation. Thusly, the film equates masculinity to height, reinforcing these notions of male gender roles in juxtaposition to the previously established female gender roles. Examples of this are sprinkled throughout, demonstrating Lord Farquaad’s attempts at “compensation,” such as when he has fake armor legs built into the side of his horse so that he looks tall when he arrives in front of Princess Fiona for the first time on his steed. Even on their wedding cake, Lord Farquaad has his cake topper set at the same height as Princess Fiona, to which she responds by pushing his further down into the cake.

All of this still equates to show the same principle, that being short is something that should be hidden, something that a male should find embarrassing because it is seen as a weakness.

A more intriguing point, however, can be made when it comes to the relationship between the fairytale creatures and the people of DuLoc. In the beginning scenes when Donkey is first introduced, the guards are lining up and enclosing the creatures in cages in exchange for money, as the townsfolk sell away the freedom of these creatures in a very inhumane manner. This is notably reminiscent of times throughout history with mass genocide, where the group that is inpower, considering themselves “normal,” sells out the other group as if they are merely objects, ostracizing them for being different. Lord Farquaad states that they are to go to “designated resettlement facilities,” which seems quite similar to how the Nazis called their camps for the Jewish people “concentration camps,” painting them in a much nicer light than what they really were.2 Essentially, Lord Farquaad is also trying to exterminate the magic creatures for being different, as they interfere with the “perfectly” white community that he is striving for. Even at the information booth, when the automated figures sing to Shrek and Donkey about how “DuLoc is a perfect place,” it is a figure full of all identical, white humans.2

The connection can then be made that everything is perfect when all differences are eliminated, continuing this Holocaust-reminiscent idea.

From a surface level view, Shrek makes some strides in a positive direction by avoiding a stereotypical princess or knight in shining armor, but their change in appearance is superficial, not belying any deeper subversion of gender norms. The persistent use of stereotypical gender roles accompanied by the clichéd notions of a happily-ever-after implant such ideals into the audience’s heads. And to top it all off, the movie even attempts to make a version of mass-genocide seem much more innocent and cartoonish, slipping in this idea in such a way that it does not appear to be as outright cruel and inhumane as it is in actuality, making it almost seem okay to the youngviewers that likely have not been taught of the Holocaust yet. Even “progressive” children’s movies apparently are much more tainted than they would initially appear to be.



1. Golgowski, Nina. “Bones so Frail It Would Be Impossible to Walk and Room for Only Half a Liver: Shocking Research Reveals What Life Would Be like If a REAL Woman Had Barbie’s Body.” Daily Mail Online, Associated Newspapers, 14 Apr. 2013.

  1. Barbie Doll Statistics

2. “The Internet Movie Script Database (IMSDb).” The Internet Movie Script Database,