‘Grease’ is the Word

(Photo courtesy of Vanity Fair)


‘Grease’ is the Word
6 Lessons From Pop Culture’s Most Iconic Film

By Sarah Komisky

Our favorite teens from Rydell High are back! The most popular movie musical first released in 1978 has become an instant classic and evolved into the staple of slumber parties, theatre, karaoke, and of course singalongs in car rides. Whether it’s the ever-present cool style of Danny Zuko that gets us or those songs we can’t help but love, in it’s 40th anniversary this June, “Grease” is still the word.

The film screened in theaters à la Turner Classic Movies and Paramount Pictures this year, was also screened at the Cannes Film Festival, and was re-released as a special anniversary edition this April to Blu-ray and DVD. As the world takes a look back at Grease, we thought it would be only fitting to pull 6 lessons we learned about teens from one of pop culture’s most iconic films of all time via the Grease soundtrack. Check it out!

“Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee;” Lesson Learned: Stand Up for What You Believe

While it can be super exciting to be invited to that really exclusive party or into the “cool” kids group, it may be hard to not do what everyone else is doing. We all know a Rizz (or a Kenickie if you’re a dude). They are that person who thinks you’re totally lame because of your choices to stand up and do what’s right. While you might be seen as “weird” because of your faith or you’re choice to honor God with sexual integrity, your choices are something to applaud because you are standing up for God and honoring Him with your life and actions! So while it might hurt to be the brunt of a joke, gossiped behind your back, or uninvited to the latest social event, you can rest assured that God has got your back and your right choices will pay off as you walk in integrity. Instead of getting back at those who laugh at you, resolve to be kind and forgive. It’s that legacy that will last.

“Sandy;” Lesson Learned; Stop Worrying About Your Reputation

Sigh. The woes of high school romance are real and Danny Zuko proves that for every teenage guy. Venting his confusion and secret sadness, this “bad boy” mentions more than once his worry over what others would think as well the peer pressure he faces. Although high school is full of labels, popularity contests, and cliques, it’s important to know that you don’t have to get caught up in the drama of it all. Whether you’re in band, on the football team, or a social misfit and are labeled this way, know that you don’t have to worry about your rep. Equally, you don’t have to give into peer pressure to remain in a box and live up to others expectations of who you should or shouldn’t be. Let God define you and spend your high school years having fun instead of worrying about what others think of you.

“Hopelessly Devoted to You;” Lesson Learned: Re-Think Who You Date

Sandy wasn’t the first to have her heart broken by a boy. This song is dedicated to all of us who forgot to think twice before we fall for someone who wasn’t good for us. So before we get blinded by the next guy with dimples, good hair, and a leather jacket, let’s think things through. Otherwise, we’ll be singing a sad love song and daydreaming of seeing our dream boy in the pool of our front yard. So, take a lesson from Sandy and guard your heart before you’re too invested.

“Beauty School Dropout;” Lesson Learned: It’ Okay to Ask for Help

For real, high school can get confusing! Class, drama, hormones, popularity – the struggle is real. To help us out, we need people we can trust to help us navigate through those big decisions and hard things in life. Although it might not be Frankie Valle, it could be someone just as cool like a parent, a mentor, or older sibling. Lesson learned, high school doesn’t have to be done alone. Like Frenchie, you too can find someone who has a listening ear who can give you some good wisdom when you need it.

“You’re the One That I Want;” Lesson Learned: Be Yourself

While I give credit to Sandy calling out Danny on his defects, did she really need to change to be liked? And did Danny have to go preppy? While Danny seems to get the “shape up” memo, I think the bigger picture here is the idea of conforming. In high school, it’s easy to conform to fit the mold of what others want us to be like and even dress like! Guess what? You don’t have to! While’s tempting to change out of fear of being rejected, it’s better to be yourself and liked for who you are.

“We Go Together;” Lesson Learned: Celebrate Friendship!

The major theme in Grease is friendship and friendship that lasts (#FriendGoals). Even though there will be Rizzo’s and Kenickie’s who you might hate from time to time, in the ups and downs, Grease is a huge nod to the power of friendships through thick and thin. So celebrate with your pals. Thank God for them. Look back on the good memories you’ve had. In terms of those frenemies, take a shot at seeing how God can transform those relationships. We all know a Rizz and Kenickie and if we don’t show God’s love, then who will? Let them see Jesus in your life and let your life be an example. When high school is over, things change. So have fun with your friends (be kind to the ones who aren’t) and enjoy the ride!