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John Hughes Is Dead: A Small Remembrance

How John Hughes Made Quirky Girls the Most Beautiful

John Hughes died today, and as longtime readers of our Twitter feed know, I am a huge fan. As an admittedly dorky teenager, I spent more than a few Friday nights at home with a well-worn VHS copy of Pretty in Pink, hoping for my own Duckie to waltz into my life. And it could have happened, because in Hughes's world, it didn't matter if you weren't the most popular or beautiful girl. It didn't matter if your hair was a mess or if you didn't fit the "perfect" mold. (In fact, as shown in Some Kind of Wonderful, the polished scene queens often aren't as cool as the tomboy drummer.) If anything, Hughes made the unusual girls beautiful because of their quirks.

I'm not saying that high school was a breeze simply because of his films, but they made a difference in how I got through it. When you're 15 and you aren't a total knockout, it's easy to feel inadequate among the girls who are. But there's something comforting about seeing characters like Watts, Andie, Allison, Jeannie accept themselves as they are. Hughes's films weren't perfect (ugh, Long Duk Dong is the worst), but they sent a message that you don't have to be or look "perfect" to be cool. I never knew John Hughes, but I felt like he knew me, and he'll be missed.

Join The Conversation
cocom cocom 7 years
Thanks for this post, Bella. And I agree; I love Sixteen Candles, but I could have done without the LDD part as well.
californiagirlx7 californiagirlx7 7 years
cko444 - you're referring to the Breakfast Club, not Sixteen Candles. I agree, i think it was odd that they had to give Ally Sheedy's character a makeover.
iheartstyle iheartstyle 7 years
I love Watts in something kind of wonderful, i think shes really pretty. Ive seen that film so much
Lori-Gragg Lori-Gragg 7 years
I was a freshman in 85-86 and I LOVE his movies,I watch them every time they come on,and now I watch them with my 15 yr.old daughter her favorite is some kind of wonderful and well I can't pick a fav. I love them all.......R.I.P John you and your talent will be missed, thank goodness for reruns.My prayers are with his family he was truely an icon.
Beauty Beauty 7 years
Here's a bit about why Long Duk Dong plays into offensive stereotypes. Like I said, there's so much that I love about John Hughes films, but LDD is not one of those things.
cko444 cko444 7 years
i largely agree with this...except for sixteen candles. it's such a sweet movie, but it's always gotten under my skin that ally sheedy's character needed a "makeover" to be happy at the end. i know it was to illustrate the larger theme about losing her defenses/liking herself, etc. but it was so heavy-handed that it almost negated that point.
naziazholesusuck naziazholesusuck 7 years
sad. rip. well put, what you said. these movies were out at the exact time i was in high school and helped me get through as a combination new waver/punk/fashionista/partier/burn-out and God knows what else but i was definitely not a knock out but was accepted for being quirky. even today, alot of what i was in high has formed who i am today. i think his movies will have a long time lasting effect on people.
cg130 cg130 7 years
Aw, I'm really sad he's dead. I LOVE Sixteen Candles.
JamieUK JamieUK 7 years
This is so sad about John Hughes. He's an amazing man and his movies made my early teens memorable.
Angelica Angelica 7 years
Awww. I love this post. Thanks, Bella. Such a sweet tribute. I love his characters.
melbelleinsc melbelleinsc 7 years
I LOVE this post because you totally managed to find a unique, non-trivial way to memorialize John Hughes or somehow pay tribute to him and one aspect of his legacy that shouldn't be forgotten, yet is despite the massive media coverage. Thank you for that.
else411 else411 7 years
Until I read this article I never gave much weight to the impact his movies had on me. I was grade school when his HS trio of movies came out (84-86?) but seeing his movies allowed me to go into HS being me, and not worrying about being in because I would find my in, which I did. So for that I thank Mr.Hughs.
HoneyBrown1976 HoneyBrown1976 7 years
While I enjoyed his films, I can't help but know that they only defined a few members of my generation, not all. His world was a very myopic, non-diverse one. But, RIP anyway, Mr. Hughes.
dakmo dakmo 7 years
His movies defined a generation! It's amazing how many of his films are just classics from our youth.
jamiejane jamiejane 7 years
I still can't get enough of his flashy 80s movies. He's launched so many careers because of that. RIP.
TammyO TammyO 7 years
Oh man, I loved his movies!
ModernGraceKelly ModernGraceKelly 7 years
I can't think of the 80's without his movies. But I found that Asian guy in Sixteen Candles hilarious! :)
Sixteen Candles House For Sale
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