Oh Sandy. . .

Watching Grease live on Monday, I was struck by Danny’s question “why you left me Sandy.”

Let’s see – in addition to groping her in the car, despite her clear discomfort, you repeatedly lied to her about who you are, you are incapable of standing up for yourself, and you care too much about what others think (“what will they say Monday at school?”).

Clearly something has changed since I last saw Grease.

With our daughter snuggled up next to me, I cringed as Rizzo and the other Pink Ladies made Sandra feel badly for her style, her values, and her insecurities. I wanted to smack Danny as he blew off Sandy’s accusations of lying, tried to hide her at the malt shop, and failed to follow her from the dance floor.

In the past I would have told you Sandy’s transformation at the end was her way of breaking out of the mold, bucking societal expectations, and becoming her own woman.

But really, she’s just found a new mold and a new set of expectations.

At every turn it’s Sandy who compromises or changes. It’s Sandy who accepts the lies from Danny. It’s Sandy who defends Rizzo. It’s Sandy who changes her interests. It’s Sandy who changes her look.

And for who?

For Danny. A young man who, upon this recent viewing, I realized does not change. At. All.

Right to the end he’s more concerned about his appearance and his reputation than he is about Sandy. Yes, he may have earned a lettermen’s sweater, but he still wore it over a black greaser outfit. He didn’t change – he was just pretending (to get laid).

Frankly, I’d have been more impressed if he showed up to graduation in khakis and a polo shirt. And what a fun moment that would have been – perhaps with the roles completely reversed, the characters would have realized how ridiculous, shallow and unimportant the labels are. And that what’s important is that we accept each other for what makes us unique.

Having commented several times on Sandy’s clothing and hair during the performance, I wondered what Sophie would think of the final transformation.

She was not impressed. And sadly, no longer am I.

Photo credit: Fox – Grease Live: First Look

10 thoughts on “Oh Sandy. . .

  1. Can’t say that I disagree with you. Grease has been my favorite movie since I was a little girl but looking at it from an adult parent perspective it really is bad in so many ways. I started thinking about it a few years back when I was contemplating watching it with my boys but just things like teen pregnancy scares kept me away. Being the parent of only boys I had not really thought about the influence it would have on young girls. Thanks for the new perspective and glad Sophie has her head on straight!


  2. Isn’t it funny how we see the movies (and television) we loved as tweens…and can’t stomach them while watching with our own children? I tried to watch Goonies and MacGyver with my kids. Goonies had so much swearing, and MacGyver kept kissing a new girl every episode! I still love all the John Hughes movies though. I can’t wait until my ladies are old enough. Thanks Kristin!


      1. It’s more about taking charge than any of that stuff. She was meek, so he walked all over her. The only time he didn’t was when she was rejecting him. Youre trying to make sensible arguments for the “proper” way to love/have a relationship. We all know its dysfunctional at its core so the only rule is — whatever works.


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