I need to connect Olive in Little Miss Sunshine to the quote below by Ani Difranco.
The quote is: "When I was four years old they tried to test my IQ, they showed me this picture of three oranges and a pear. They asked me which one is different and does not belong; they taught me different was wrong."
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I think that the quote can connect to Olive Hoover in a couple of ways. The first is that Olive represents the opposite of the sentiment in the quote. Difranco's quote makes the argument that "different was wrong." For Olive, she represents, sometimes unknowingly, that individuals who are "different" are not wrong. Consider that she is the point of convergence for the family, all consisting of "different" interests. She is the reason they embark on the journey to the pageant. At the restaurant with the ice cream, she is the reason that all of the family members eat the ice- cream together. When Olive asks her grandfather if she is "a loser," the resounding note is to suggest that she is a "winner." When Dwayne rejects his family because they are different, "losers" according to him, Olive reaches out and brings the family together. Naturally, the ending to the film, when all of the family dances on stage with their "different" dances, all reveling in Olive's greatness, it demonstrates the opposite of the quote. Olive represents the idea that "different" is correct. Her being in the film is that different is not "wrong." This is really seen in her competition in the pageant, the ultimate representation that "different was wrong." Olive remains true to her own sense of self, not doing what other contestants did. Rather, she demonstrates that she is who she is and nothing normative, such as a beauty pageant or an IQ test, could change her otherwise. Olive's being is a repudiation of Richard's "Nine Steps" and desire to be a "winner." Rather, she embodies the sentiment that underscores Di Franco's quote. Different, in Olive's world, is not "wrong." It is a condition of being, and bathing in its intense glory is what makes consciousness more bearable. In this, Olive becomes the "super freak" of different, ensuring that there is belonging throughout her sense of being in the world.
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