I’m here to tell you (along with a large portion of the internet) this hot take: Sharpay Evans deserved better. So much better.
Allow me to plead my oh-so-fabulous case!
We were introduced to the East High Wildcats in 2006 and our lives were never the same. The trilogy followed Troy, Gabriella, Sharpay and the rest of their precocious classmates living that teenage life — everything from putting on their school’s spring musicale to spending the summer working in a posh country club to, fittingly, walking across the stage on graduation day.
And while we all had our favorites (I see you Troy and Gabriella shippers out there!), you will never convince me that Sharpay Evans was ever anything other than truly BADASS. Over a decade later and she’s still the perfect tableau for our times. She’s confident. She knows what she wants. And she goes after it. If she were a man, we’d call it ambition, so why do we label Sharpay the villain? Even Ashley Tisdale, the actress who brought Sharpay to life, weighed in on her character’s redemption.
Plus…why do we have to compare her to Gabriella in the first place? The movies seem to set up this narrative that Gabriella is the perfect princess while Sharpay is the evil stepsister intent on ruining the lives of her classmates. No, full stop. Stop. Pitting. Women. Against. Each. Other. Sharpay worked incredibly hard, knew her worth and knew that she deserved to star in the musical. She tirelessly danced and sang and rehearsed; she perfected her craft and remained ever determined, yet Troy and Gabriella just waltzed in and scooped up the leads!
So I ask you: Where is the justice for Sharpay?? She was serious about her craft. She was dedicated. That’s something that should be celebrated, not painted with this brushstroke that she’s evil and manipulative.
Maybe the character of Sharpay really mirrors our times, where women aren’t supposed to be proud of ourselves (that’s seen as vain and narcissistic) or overly ambitious (that’s seen as domineering and cutthroat). Looks like this Disney musical is deeper than it looks…just like Sharpay Evans herself! After all, Evans just wanted to bop to the top! What’s wrong with a little ambition in life? She just needed a little fabulous. Is that so wrong?
Were you a fan of Sharpay when High School Musical came out? What’s your favorite song from the film, friends? Am I the only one who gets those toe-tapping gems stunk in my head for days? I mean, I’m not exactly complaining here… xoxo
P.S. Which side of Sharpay are you?