The Breakfast Club introduced us to an array of stereotypes: the brain, the athlete, the basket case, the princess, and the criminal. All they shared was one common assignment while in detention: write an essay telling their principal who they thought they were.
The movie portrays characters that are consumed by their identities. They bicker and fight with words like:
“Who the hell are you judging, anyway?”
“You know, you don’t even count.”
“If you disappeared forever, it wouldn’t make any difference.”
“Don’t ever compare yourself to me.”
Although thirty years have gone by since the film first made its debut, a similar tension still exists today.
We are drowning in our identities.
But maybe, with a little dose of perspective, The Breakfast Club can remind us that our identities don’t always have to define us.
The Breakfast Club
For many years, my life was this movie. It is the way I saw the world. I picked out the brains, the princesses, the athletes, the criminals, and the basket cases and I knew which ones I wanted to be.
I am Business Man. I am Christian. I am Author. I am…
I think all of us fall into this trap. We do it in our families, in our workplaces, in our churches, and in our neighborhoods. In almost every facet of life, this is how we choose to define ourselves and how we choose to see the world.
But that’s what was beautiful about The Breakfast Club. John Hughes, the brilliant mind behind the coming-of-age drama, gives us a new perspective.
The students begin to find unity in the midst of their differences. They realize that each of them struggle with their identities. That each of them have pressures that they are crumbling under. That each of them have strained relationships at home.
In short, stereotypes are exhausting and limiting and shallow. And they’re a lie.
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