I’m a child of the 80’s, my teen years spent in the decade that unleashed big hair, New Romantics and Stock Aitken Waterman on an unsuspecting world!

I wanted to be a kid from ‘Fame’, I wanted to be the ‘waitress in a cocktail bar’, I never wanted Rick Astley to ‘give me up’ and I wanted to be forever trapped in a comic book with A-Ha…ah, a girl can dream!

I embraced it all, I LOVED the 80’s (still do), the fashion, the music and the movies, so I jumped at the chance of re-watching The Breakfast Club recently. It’s an absolute 80’s classic featuring several of the ‘Brat Pack’, a group of young actors who frequently appeared together in teen-oriented coming-of-age films in the 1980’s. My all-time favourite Brat Pack crush was Andrew McCarthy, but in The Breakfast Club, Judd Nelson lit up the screen with his performance as bad boy John Bender, and made countless ‘nice’ girls fall in love with their own local ‘bad’ boy!

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088847/

And I was no exception, I too harboured adoring crushes on our own version of ‘Brat Pack Boys’, knowing deep down that they’d never look twice at me, and even if one of them had, they were hardly the boys that you’d take home to meet your parents!

Watching the film again was like climbing into a time machine and entering the year 1985 into the sat nav. The years just melted away and once again I squirmed with awkward angst as the story unfolded.

It’s been a good many years since I’d last watched it, long enough for some of the plot line to blur and fade, so in parts, it was like watching it for the first time all over again.

But then it hit me, watching the film as an adult was like peeling back the layers of an onion. Viewing through my teenage eyes, I saw good-looking actors, a couple of heart-throbs and of course an anthem of a theme song.

Watching it back as an adult I saw more layers, and a film that was released some 32 years ago covered themes that resonate today. The struggle of teens to be understood both by their parents and their peers, the pressure of expectation and the labels that stereotyping puts upon people. As the story unfolds, the obvious stereotypes are broken down and true empathy builds new friendships and relationships, as the characters realise that they all have far more in common underneath their ‘labels’, and you’re left with the feeling that life for those teens will never be quite the same again.

Brian’s detention essay is narrated over the final scenes, and it’s pretty poignant, as it tells the principle Mr Vernon, and the villain of the piece that he sees them as he wants to see them…a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal, and not for who they really are.

The thoughts stayed with me long after the final credits had rolled, how often do we see people as we want to see them, and not for who they truly are, the book behind the cover. How often do we judge others outside of our own social circles and cliques.

So next time you find yourself having to spend time with a group of people you don’t know, look beyond the stereotypes, look past the outer layers and discover what’s underneath, and if you can do that, you might just discover an unexpected friendship at your own ‘Breakfast Club’.

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Sue Alty – The Creative Coordinator

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We think Sue must be a ‘Master of the Dark Arts’, as she has hidden depths! Running our office with meticulous planning and capability, Sue is an avid list writer with a keen eye for detail. But don’t be fooled by that organised demeanour, for Sue is as creative as she is efficient! A skilled communicator with a humorous edge, Sue is as passionate about people and their learning and development as she is about becoming the future Mrs Tom Hardy or Mrs Benedict Cumberbatch (either will do!).  An interesting career path has taken her from the glamour of working in luxury London hotels to the chilled Distribution Centres of supermarket retail, and whether managing small groups or large teams, people are at the heart of everything Sue does.