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What “Easy A” Says About High School Gossip

Girls in Pop Culture

What “Easy A” Says About High School Gossip

By Anne Jorgenson

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Easy A is one of those movies that have seriously layered jokes—and once you get them, the movie becomes even more glorious than you initially realized. I mean, just look at the name Easy A.

Easy A features Olive, a girl whose life snowballs out of control when she tells her friend a little white lie that gets overheard in the girls’ bathroom—classic high school.

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Olive is a normal seventeen-year-old girl. She’s not prudish enough to warrant skeptical looks from classmates but has never done anything worth gossiping about. Until now.

When she lies to her best friend about having a date (to avoid going out with her), the best friend immediately assumes Olive lost her virginity that weekend. The rumor spirals out of control, and people start speculating that she slept with multiple people of varying ages.

Then, a closeted boy at school comes to Olive for help. Afraid to come out, he asks Olive to convince people he’s straight, so he won’t be bullied anymore. After Olive takes him to a party and pretends to have sex with him, her name slowly gets dragged through the mud, and more and more misfits come to her for help on their reputation.

Paid to pretend to have sex, Olive embraces the judgment of her peers. Since she’s reading The Scarlet Letter in English class, she changes her wardrobe and embroiders a red “A” onto her clothes, a la Hester Prynne. Hence the name of the movie.

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Easy A shows how quickly society (in this case high school) will take down women who are sexually active while hypocritically uplifting manwhores. The whole school judges Olive based on her rumored escapades, and pays respect to the boys she’s supposedly fooling around with.

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This movie has a sharp wit with quick back-and-forth one-liners, and really does have multiple layers and references that you don’t completely comprehend the first time around. It’s worth watching with entertaining social commentary. I highly recommend it for the next time you need a new rom-com.

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