It’s time we all realised that Sharpay Evans is the true victim of High School Musical

She was the only talented one in the whole film

High School Musical has a lot of things going for it: catchy songs, teenage dramatic drama, basketball, and of course heart throb Zac Efron. It doesn’t even need any of the other stuff, just an hour and a half of Zac Efron’s face on my screen would be totally fine by me. But one thing I could never get behind about the franchise was the way Sharpay was cast as a villain, and Gabriella was somehow the fucking hero? Seriously, have I missed something? Because something seriously does not add up, and I’m not the only person who thinks this. Recently a twitter thread went viral about exactly this, and honestly Disney, we need some answers.

Our first encounter with Sharpay is when she’s “bitchily” telling Gabriella and Troy that they should sign up for supporting roles in the school’s play. I’m sorry, what is so bitchy about this exactly? First of all, Gabriella’s new, so most drama teachers wouldn’t give you the lead role during your first week at the school over someone much more talented, during an audition that isn’t even an audition (and it’s not even that good).

Secondly, Sharpay and Ryan are trained and experienced performers, whereas Troy and Gabriella sung one song together at a shitty holiday karaoke, which neither of them even wanted to do in the first place. The fact that they showed up late to their audition and Troy only reluctantly agreed to do it in the first place shows they’re not ready for the lead roles. So Sharpay basically told them to try out for a supporting role, get some experience, see if they like it, and then go back for the main roles when they’re ready for it. That doesn’t sound bitchy to me, it actually sounds like she’s being a pretty nice person.

Troy and Gabriella spend the entire movie lying to everyone around them – and to each other. They act like they’re committed to the show, but as soon as Sharpay changes the date and time of the callback suddenly she’s the bitch because she can actually commit to something? And even then, rather than just admitting that they want to be in the play, they sabotage both the basketball game and the “decathlon, whatever the fuck that is, to then turn up late AGAIN to their audition. Honestly, if I was Ms. Darbus I would tell them to fuck right off. And suddenly theatre is cool cos the popular guys are doing it. Never mind that two scenes ago everyone was taking the piss out of Sharpay for it, even though it was actually her lifelong passion rather than just a silly hobby.

And suddenly, they all like dancing

That’s just the first movie: it only goes downhill from there for Sharpay. In the second film, all the other characters moan relentlessly about how they need jobs for the summer, so Sharpay fixes them up with some at her family’s country club (yes, okay, it was because she had a crush on Troy and that was the only way to get him there, but still), and then they spend the whole time moaning about they actually have to work? Like seriously, what the fuck did you think you were going to have to do? And then, rather than simply being happy for Troy like decent friends would be, the characters all get super pissed at Sharpay cos god forbid she’s helping him further his career in basketball by setting him up with some pretty sweet contacts. If that’s a villain, then I will take three please.

The second film ends pretty much the same as the first for Sharpay, except so much crueler. Troy agrees to do the end of summer show with her, because he actually is a decent guy (my love for Zac Efron might be blinding me here, but go with it), only for Ryan – Sharpay’s own brother – switches the songs and humiliates Sharpay all so Troy can sing with Gabriella. There must have been a less cruel way of doing that. They literally took the one thing she’d been looking forward to all summer away from her in order to fix the relationship between two people that shouldn’t even be together if Gabriella can’t even be happy for Troy about his basketball success.

So, like the first film, Sharpay ends the film with nothing. Literally nothing. Not even the trophy she still somehow won, because she selflessly gave it to her brother despite the fact that he acted like a fucking snake and stabbed her in the back not moments before.

Also, let’s not forget the fact that all Sharpay did was the theatre stuff, when you think about. Nevermind the fact that Troy and Gabriella’s own friends tried to sabotage their relationship because it was distracting them from “more important things”. Like basketball and the decathlon, duh. Some friends. Plus, Taylor is totally anti-feminist in the way she takes the piss out of the cheerleaders. Not really relevant, but at least Sharpay doesn’t judge people for what they enjoy in the same way everyone judges her.

Basically, Sharpay dedicated her life to the theatre, and she was really fucking good at it, but because she was seen as competitive about the thing she was passionate about, she was the villain. And that’s not right. Sharpay deserved better.

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