How Elvis showed America’s struggle with sex

Elvis PresleyLike his musical prowess, his legacy is tied to hordes of screaming fans. Even though he last left the building 45 years ago, Elvis remains firmly in control of American culture.the film’s recent success Elvis Prove that love for the king isn’t going away anytime soon. The former electrician’s style was heavily influenced by black musicians with a love of gospel and the blues, and when Sun Records released his first single in the summer of 1954, his style was nothing like what the world heard. For an adult at the time, his swiveling hips and rock guitar were everything wrong in this country. For teens, especially young women, he represents an opportunity to express their desire for something society explicitly forbids: sex.Conflicting moral values ​​of young and old come together Buzz Luhrmannof Elvisa fascinating biopic that asks how far we have come.

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America in the 1950s was on the brink of history. The post-World War II years were slumbering, the country splurged on the economic boom that the next few decades would bring, but the knock on the door indicated that change was coming quickly. Although women enjoyed some new freedoms as a result of the war effort, especially in establishing them as part of the workforce, the United States still held a fairly conservative view of how women should express their sexuality. Women were expected to be housewives and obey their husbands; the idea of ​​the ideal nuclear family and the housewife of the 1950s was firmly established during this period. Thanks to that, the decade often conjures up hallowed images of poodle skirts, malt shops, and simpler-living auto shops. However, history is not always as real as it is in our memories, and these rosy memories tend to ignore the simultaneous sexual revolutions.


For those who were alive at the time of Elvis’ fame, it can be difficult to understand the impact one person has had on American history and culture. Elvis’ music and movements allowed young women to vent their frustrations with social limitations.However, in Elvis, a feeling that is perfectly captured in a way that only a Baz Luhrman film can execute: a maximalist visual feast that makes the audience feel as if they are there. A notable moment in the film occurs when Elvis (Austin Butler) performing “Baby Let’s Play House” at Lousiana Hayride’s gig. Although this scene is seen from the perspective of his manager Tom Parker (Tom Hanks), Elvis’ influence on young women in the crowd is captured in a way that’s as shocking as it was nearly seven decades ago. Luhrman’s camera work and editing heightened the frenzy in the room, as women, young and old, were forced to scream for the singer. This scene is not a reenactment of the events (which took place in 1954), but an almost dreamlike sight, with exaggerated guitar riffs marking every shameful twist of his hips, allowing the audience to experience the sensation of a heartbeat.


While screaming for a musical performance is commonplace today, in the 1950s the audience was expected to stay in their seats and applaud politely in appreciation. Elvis’ performances became synonymous with the young women crammed on stage, wanting to see glances, petting, and even a kiss from their idol. Even beyond his movements, Elvis’ long hair and flamboyant costumes exceeded the expectations of men at the time. By pushing gender norms, he encourages female viewers to look inward and become the physical manifestation of their secret desires. Charles Grunberg, who wrote extensively about Elvis for the New York Post in 1956, reported on the crowd’s reaction to the king: “A girl of about 14 screamed as if she was suddenly scalded. Same. A second teenager sitting next to her made a strange guttural noise. Another girl was scratching her arm with her fingernails, leaving long red scars. After the show, I heard one girl tell another girl, ” I grabbed his hand and he smiled and said, ‘Let me go? So I let him go. It’s heavenly. He is the most dreamy thing I have ever seen. ‘” In the film, Tom Parker observes a fan’s inner conflict, moved to the point of being emotionally charged, saying: “[Elvis] It was the taste of the forbidden fruit, and she could have eaten him raw. “


The sexual reckoning that Elvis started, while unintentional, would follow him for the rest of his life, as did the media outcry.exist Elvis, given the chaos that kept following him, Elvis was warned before a show in Florida that simply “wiggling his fingers” would get him arrested. He decided to push the boundaries again by performing “Trouble,” a song that clearly embodies defiance. As he moved and thrust around the stage, his wiggling was more than a finger, causing a similar hysteria as he did in the Lousiana Hayride show. Scenes captured through media footage and flashes frame these moments: women reaching out to him, screaming as he holds their faces, desperate to be noticed.

The sound came to a screeching halt as the crowd overwhelmed the stage, and Elvis was dragged away by the police, a metaphor for the situation getting out of hand. Headlines like “Lust and Perverted Crimes” flickered across the screen, reflecting the microphone feedback reverberating in the background. Elvis Very good at pulling that emotion out of the audience, building them up with the performance, only to be ashamed to shorten it and make them feel ecstatic.

While the days of Elvis’ chaos are long gone, the fanatical spirit he evoked still lingers today. Luhrmann’s film bridges that gap in a scene that welcomes Elvis to the city that has become almost synonymous with his legacy, Las Vegas. After he married Priscilla (Olivia DeJonge), Elvis opened a new era in his life with a montage of the song “Viva Las Vegas” as the backdrop. Luhrmann chose to combine the familiar Vegas national anthem with Britney Spears“Toxic” draws a stark comparison between the two artists. Both struggled under control, performed at sold-out Vegas residencies, and faced outrage from the American public for being labelled a sex symbol. While it’s been four decades since she and Elvis have been in the limelight, the scrutiny Britney Spears faces shows that America hasn’t embraced sex in pop culture. While their acts will continue to sell well (Elvis and Britney are both among the best-selling artists of all time), public figures will be ashamed of the pockets of the people who help them make money.


although Elvis Perhaps not quite giving viewers a deeper understanding of who’s under the dazzling jumpsuit, it totally encapsulates the time that surrounds and propels the King of Rock and Roll. Elvis’ music and his actions are as well known today as they were nearly 70 years ago. While 21st century audiences may not be as shocked by the pelvis Elvis as they used to be, Elvis Remind us that American society is not as enlightened as we think.

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