The Breakfast Club
In 1985, the world was exposed to one of the finest examples of how stereotypes fail to delineate a person: The Breakfast Club. The movie takes place in a typical high school environment in which five students unwillingly have a Saturday detention. All of the students immediately characterize one another by their appearance and what little information they know about each other. However, as the movie progresses, the students soon realize that there is much more to all people than their stereotypes. One of the movie's main characters, John Bender, is classified by his peers as a sort of "criminal;" nonetheless, it doesn't take very long for the other characters in the movie to realize that "Bender" doesn't exactly fit the conventional role of a supposed criminal, but rather as an intelligent, manipulative, and at times an emotionally unstable human being.
First impressions are generally made by the appearance of a person, which instantly designates them into a certain stereotype. A stereotype is defined as a set of characteristics or a fixed idea considered to represent a particular kind of person. In other words, it immediately paints a picture of the background of a person, without actually knowing anything about them. In the movie, John Bender is said to be a criminal not because the other students know for a fact that he commits crimes, but instead because he has similar characteristics to one: old battered clothes, long dirty hair, intentionally breaks school rules, and ridicules others. Moreover, John's peers are not familiar with his reasoning for his actions, nor do they bother to take the time to figure them out. That is because it is much easier for people to stereotype others than to actually take time out of their lives to get to know them.
However, under most circumstances John Bender is in fact a criminal. Early in the movie you find out that the reason he is in detention is because he pulled the fire alarm....