John Hughes and Bullying
While I edit, I watch tv shows or old movies on a second monitor. It might sound weird, but it keeps me on task and off the internet. That said, I can't actually watch movies that require too much concentration on my part because I am working and sometimes I'll miss giant chunks of what's going on. So, I often choose to watch movies I've seen before or fluff television. True story. I am a huge Survivor fan because of this...but, this fall, I've also watched all of the old John Hughes movies on Netflix. I was a teenager in the 80's. These are the movies we went to see on Cheap Tuesdays when the movies were only two dollars. The kids in these movies are the kids we related to...the kids we wanted to be. So, that got me thinking...what kind of movies do young audiences get today? And, you know what that answer is? CRAP. They don't long to be as pretty as Molly Ringwald...their teen idols are probably not teenagers at all...and if they are...there is nothing authentic about them or the shows that they are in. Fake boobs. Fake hair. Too much makeup living in a world that no real teenager can afford(except perhaps the rich kids of instagram, but don't get me started on that one). The media that our kids see is hardly a reflection of real life...it's a parody. And, the winners are always the popular kids--or if they aren't the popular kids, they certainly look like the popular kids at your school.
Growing up with John Hughes we saw that no matter what 'clique' you belonged to, you all had issues and insecurities. The popular girl in our teen movies was a freckle faced redhead that you could imagine being your best friend. There was something cool about the geeks. Anthony Michael Hall was such a loveable nerd that even though he clearly belonged in that clique, there is no way you couldn't like him. Ditto for Jon Cryer...I mean...in Pretty In Pink, I almost related more to Duckie than I did to Andy(Ringwald's character).
Don't get me wrong...I know that bullying still went on back then, but I think that no matter who you were you could find a sort of validation in the popular movies. It was like Hughes was reaching out to us and showing us our lives--our REAL lives--and telling us that it will all work out in the end. I don't think teenagers have that today. I think they have almost the opposite in fact...media telling them to conform or else. I wonder where the John Hughes of their generation is...