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Guest Post: T.A. Woods on The Breakfast Club

4758587938_82780d5f60_zI’m excited to feature my talented friend Tamara today on the day of the launch of her first book! She is a gifted poet, writer, and the newest addition to the Lefty Pop Team! Give it up for Tamara as she waxes nostalgic about one of my all time favorite movies.

I can’t believe it’s been 30 years… I took the ‘which BC Character Are You Quiz and I thought for sure I’d be the “basket case”, or possibly Bender as a close second. Guess who I got? Yup. Tamara, you go ahead and explain the ruckus.  And do please check out Tamara’s new book The Shaping Of An Angry Black Woman.  Congratulations Tamara! I’m so excited for you!


30 years ago this week, I learned that I wasn’t quite cool enough to hang out with preps, I wasn’t smart enough to be a brain and I certainly didn’t have enough of a rebel spirit for the criminals.

That’s right the most iconic detention movie, The Breakfast Club was rolled out in1985 and became a permanent fixture in American pop culture. It was John Hughes’ juggernaut. The teen movie that became the blueprint for all angsty-filled flicks. You know you wanted to walk across a football field and give that one fist pump, or learn how to apply lipstick with no hands.

Where did I fit into this high school drama? Initially, I didn’t know for sure. I was pretty young when it came out, so I didn’t see it in theaters. I had to wait until it was censored for television.

With the jumpcuts firmly in place, it took me years to figure out why they were dancing so much in the library. Why was dorky Brian wearing those black glasses, and talking like a pseudo-bluesy saxophone player? TBS gave me a skewed perception of a whole slew of movies from my childhood, but that’s another story for another time. Quick example: I thought Demi Moore in St. Elmo’s Fire just had a really runny nose until I was a teenager.

As I grew older and I watched the film for the umpteenth time, I realized something. The “basketcase,” who used her dandruff as snow, was a pathological liar and dumped her purse to show everyone who she was, was probably my spirit animal. Allison played by Ally Sheedy would’ve been my best friend…before the “cool” people got to her.

They took away the bits that made her interesting. When they gave her the makeover so the jock would like her, taking off all of her black eyeliner and dark misshapen clothing, she became one-of-them. Her mystique formerly in her untouchable face, absolutely diluted.

She wanted to be like everyone else. She wanted the attention. She didn’t know how to do it. She hadn’t yet learned that her coolness was totally invested in her otherness.

It’s a lesson we all have to learn, to grab hold of what makes us unique and rock the hell out of it. Not usually a lesson for teen movies, where the hallowed halls of education teaches you conformity and being one of the bunch will help you to succeed-or at least to not get your ass kicked.

I like to think if her story’s binary would continue, that she would have become comfortable in her Doc Martens. She would’ve been a hipster before being a hipster was cool. A proud purveyor of Gen X’s antipathy for the mainstream and The Man. Drinking in local coffee shops, probably taking art classes, drinking cheap beer at local shows and making performance art in the middle of the quad.

She would’ve been an amazing totem for the weird kids like me, who thought things like art and poetry were cool, and didn’t really get popularity. Oh well, maybe I need to write a story for her uber-cool slightly more strange daughter.



Tamara Woods was raised (fairly happily) in West Virginia, where she began writing poetry at the age of 12. Her first poetry collection is available today for order at She has used her writing background to capture emotions and moments in time for anthologies such as Empirical Magazine, her blog PenPaperPad and writing articles as a full-time freelance writer. She is a hillbilly hermit in Honolulu living with her Mathemagician.


Photo “single 7″ by Adg’s Screen Caps licensed by CC 2.0




  1. March 26, 2014    

    Love this. I have always wondered who I would be too. Part brain, part criminal, and a touch of princess, I think?!

    • March 26, 2014    

      It’s probably best to have some type of mix. The perfect detention member. 😉

  2. March 26, 2014    

    I can’t believe I got John Bender when I took that buzzfeed quiz. But everyone else who knows me said it was spot on…..self aware much, Lance?

    I love Tamara. I can’t wait to read her book

    • March 26, 2014    

      BuzzFeed quizzes…I only take them if they pop up on my Facebook. That way, I won’t fall into a hole of taking too many quizzes. It’s like channeling pre-teen Tamara. I loved those things.

  3. March 26, 2014    

    I got John Bender too. I thought for sure I was the basket case. I can make it snow too, ya know.

    • March 26, 2014    

      Maybe I need to take this quiz too. And a shower. I think think I have a bit of snow right now…

  4. March 26, 2014    

    Now I feel the need to go look up a Buzzfeed quiz…. Given my soft spot for coming of age films, I of course own this movie. It was a bit before my time though – so, rather oddly, my first memory of it is my Grade 10 Drama teacher playing “Bender” for the class as he tried to get us excited about the movie because the school drama club did it as a play that year. So whenever I think of this move, I always first see my 30 something drama teacher from when I was 15….

    As for Ally Sheedy’s makeover, I never saw it quite so much as selling out. Agreed the message of having to look a certain way to fit in isn’t the one to send, but the message of acceptance (ie: they all got to know each other and “like” each other through the experience and so Molly’s character “helped” in the way she knew how) is more how I saw it. Maybe Ally’s character, with a boost of confidence that comes from acceptance in high school (because wow that matters at that age), then came into her own, sported her docks again, kept the boy, took him to her art show at the local hipster coffee shop, and truly had it all. Now how’s THAT for a happily ever after ending?

    Either way – loved the post! Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

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