Media Courtesy of Gleekcons
For the past month and some change, PopWrapped
has been directing much of its focus on the celebrating the life-altering series, Glee.
Some people may roll their eyes or scoff at my choice of the words "life-altering;" but I stand by my choice, and I'm happy to explain why.
One way to prove my point, is to share a tumblr post that is aptly titled "How Glee Saved My Life
," written by user Jack-Dawson
. This is an entire post dedicated to how Glee
opened this young, impressionable mind to the idea that, Hey. Maybe it really DOES get better. Maybe I DON'T have to cut myself to feel something. I need only to love myself in order to let others love me as well. I need to find my bliss, and others who share it.
Courtesy of Demetriasavesmeeveryday
It's not easy for me to relate to these sorts of things. I will be a total jerk right now and admit that I was beyond lucky to have an easy high school experience. I got good grades, had a ton of friends and never suffered any teenage angst. But I know people who did.
I was never a bully, but there were instances when I was a bystander; and almost 11 years later it's something I still regret. I saw the pain in the eyes of some kids who were on the losing end of cruel and unnecessary barbs and comments just because of how they looked, their group of friends, their choice of recreational activity, etc.
Most of those people have grown up to be incredibly successful adults. Seriously, they give me complexes because their professional achievements far outweigh my own. They were able to muddle through the dreary days of high school and use some of the abuse as fuel for their professional fires. But not all kids have been, or will be, so lucky. But then came Glee.
Courtesy of Berry-chele
is the incredibly unrealistic, rose-colored personification of every facet of high school, particularly with the original cast. We've got the popular kids portrayed by Quinn, Santana, Brittany, Finn, and Puck. We've got the theater geeks deftly represented with Rachel. Tina gave us the goth (and then retro 60s, kinda?) vote, as well as the minority aspect along with Mercedes; and Artie gave us the AV geek coupled with his wheelchair to make for a perfectly well-rounded group of misfits.
But of all the characters that we fell in love with, I think that it is Kurt that made the biggest impact. Chris Colfer inspired Kurt's character. Chris auditioned for a different role, but Ryan Murphy was so besotted with him that he created Kurt specifically for Chris; a move that proves that Murphy is a genius, as well as a cruel and demented manipulator. We saw Kurt go through the torment of being thrown in dumpsters and getting slushie facials. But we were also privy to his inner torment of feeling like he was trapped in the closet. He didn't feel comfortable telling his classmates, nor did he feel comfortable speaking to his single-parent father about it. But then there was glee club.
Courtesy of Alvauses
Glee club turned out to be a magical equalizer. It put all of these kids on the same level, where the only thing that mattered was who had the most talent. While the impossibly stunning Quinn ruled the school as McKinley's most popular Cherrio, the nerdy, brown-nosing Rachel Berry reigned triumphant in glee with a voice that could stop traffic. It was an even playing field.
We watched Kurt morph into a strong and able man, not afraid to stand up for his right to love whomever he pleased. We watched him fall in love with Blaine and come into his own sexuality. We watched Rachel own her talent and gain confidence in herself. We watched Finn dump the head cheerleader for the glee club nerd. We saw Santana and Brittany go from short "sweet lady kiss" sessions to the cutest relationship to ever be featured on screen. We watched a predetermined hierarchy crumble into rubble as mortal enemies shifted into friends.
Courtesy of Graham5
And while Ryan Murphy often expects us to suspend belief (they DO, after all, break out into song at utterly inexplicable times. Ahh musicals), he does not make all of these cosmic shifts a bubble gum and lollipop fairy tale. We FEEL each shift in our bones. We experience these characters grappling with the battle between their hearts and their status. Murphy made the impossible seem entirely possible.
And he gave struggling, young kids hope. He sparked an uprising of Gleeks: smart, strong kids who were tired of being pushed around. He gave them the voice they needed to stand up for themselves and their right to be who they are.
And on top of all that, he's given us some damn fine music.
So, if you're still rolling your eyes and scoffing at my use of "life-altering" at the beginning of this post, I suppose we'll just have to agree to disagree. Because in case you didn't know, "Being part of something special makes you special."
And it's just as simple as that.
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