Criticisms: Destroying What Defines Us
Through a mix of scholarly interpretations of the film, these reviews all show that Paris Is Burning is a vessel used to bring society a step forward by blurring the lines of gender and dominant societal norms through the contrast between the “realness” that the ball contestants strive for and the reality that they live in. This leads the audience to question their own reality and “realness”. Some of the scholars question that if a man can walk into public and be believed to be a woman, is he a woman? This helps to destroy the categories that define our lives but showing that what we view as meaningful is simply a charade. This forces the audience to reflect and take another look at the “normal” lives they’ve been living while also subjecting them to the natural desires of the ball contestants to blend into a society that has been pushing them away.