October 29, 2012

Why The Breakfast Club is so Awesome--Stereotypes in YA


I teach a youth group in which an 8th grade girl with a bit of a chip on her shoulder attends.  It's hard to get her to experience Jesus' love when she hates everyone let me tell you.  She and I get along fine, but I have a hard time getting her to see that skinny blonde girls are not inherently bad people.  

So the other day my son and I went to Pitch Perfect.  It was awesome and it features the movie The Breakfast Club.  On our way home my son asked me what was so special about The Breakfast Club and as I was explaining it to him I had this epiphany--it is special because it shows the people behind the stereotypes.  And it shows that none of them have easy lives.

And that's what I wish young kids would realize.  Just because a movie features skinny blonde girls who are mean, it doesn't mean every skinny blonde girl is mean.  Not every jock is dumb or an ass.  There are mean girls and dumb-ass-y boys across all groups and cliques.

The skinny blonde girl that my friend hates, her parents split up a year ago and her mom is going through a major mid-life crisis (and she is barely 40), with chemical peels and new boobs.  Tell me that girl isn't having a hard time.  And just because she's mean to you once, doesn't mean she is inherently mean.  You might have to give her another chance!

The genius of The Breakfast Club is that you see everyone's back story.   
Almost no one has an easy time in high school--and most people will give you back what you give them.

(But that also is one thing I love about books--an author can describe a character, but you can essentially put whomever you want in that role in your head!).

4 comments:

  1. Yes yes yes yes!
    I loveeeeeeeeeeeeeeee TBC.
    I loved that all these different people shattered the stereotypes and became friends.
    I loved it.
    Great post!
    Sounds like I need to see PP.

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    1. Pitch Perfect was a lot of fun! I hope you got to see it. The Breakfast Club is just a perfect teen movie. Sigh.

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  2. That's what I love about backstory. Have you read Beauty Queens by Libba Bray? It also plays with this idea. A bunch of beauty queens are shipwrecked on a deserted island. In the first chapter, they all seem like the stereotype of a shallow beauty queen, but as the book goes on, you realize all this girls have a backstory and they've been taught to hide it. Awesome stuff.

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    1. I haven't read Beauty Queens--yet. I own it, just haven't gotten around to it. The idea is just awesome though. Hopefully soon! Thanks for the recommendation!

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