Legacy is so important, I’ve been wrapping my mind around this idea of legacy and how it works in society. Let’s say you are a performer and you resemble Brad Pitt or Paul Newman even, you have just cashed in on Legacy; Everyone will like you more because you resemble this classic idea of what a movie star is, or think of the many women who have benefited from the Marylin Monroe Legacy (Madonna, Anna Nicole Smith, etc). I was reminded of this today when Caitlyn Jenner was introduced to the world, the comparisons immediately began, and while, of course, Caitlyn has a story that isn’t told often and the fact that it’s spreading like wildfire only helps people like her become more visible, you start to wonder, what would this be like without the Legacy?
So we look at the landscape of entertainment over the years and we of course know that entertainment has been white washed in this country for years. Duh, what does that have to do with anything? Well, the rest of us don’t have a variety in the Legacies available to us, to benefit from like all the white people in the world. Asian, Puerto Rican, Mexican, etc, they don’t have a plethora of Legacies to benefit from. And before you think this is just a cry for privilege, I want you to really think about how the use of a Legacy can further you. If you are a performer without a name and let’s say you enter a performance competition and decide to center your number around some Legacy in white culture; Hedwig, Cabaret, Clueless, you cash in on the legacy, people’s perception of your over all performance is connected with their idea about the Legacy you are cashing in on. Meanwhile, non whites have Legacies in their own culture, which is great, but if the white audience doesn’t understand or know of the Legacy it is valueless, it’s like telling someone an inside joke that you and your friend have without explaining it; no one cares, they don’t get it. And so, what does that mean for the non-whites in the world?