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The Baby-Sitters Club Normalised A Lot Of Teen Issues & We Are Here For It

The Baby-Sitters Club Normalised A Lot Of Teen Issues & We Are Here For It

Jessie Bennett
Group Halloween costume

The Baby-Sitters Club got a Netflix reboot recently, and it’s a pure joy to watch! The books, movie, and original TV show were BIG in the ’90s, so expectations were set quite high for the reboot. Seeing as I watched it in the course of a weekend, it’s safe to say I approve.
From the clothes the girls wear to the cheesy one-liners, it’s a reboot worth the watch! Not only that, but The Baby-Sitters Club tackled some real teen issues and handled them in a very real way. TV Shows featuring teens and intended for a teen audience can often be guilty of blowing things out of proportion, dramatising the mundane. The Baby-Sitters Club normalised a lot of teen issues, and we are here for it!
The baby-sitters club

The Breakdown of Friendships

Episode 1 opens with the shows protagonist, Kristy, is introducing herself and her friends. She mentions that one of her friends, Claudia, isn’t as close to her and their other friend Mary Anne as they’ve developed different interests. It was refreshing to hear this as a throwaway comment, rather than it take up a majority of the monologue, and made into a huge drama, as can be the case when it comes to female friendship on-screen. The breakdown in the girls’ friendship was seen as something that just happens, which is reflected in real-life.

Parents Re-Marrying

This is a trope often called upon in teen shows and movies. The main character’s mother or father remarries and instantly their partner is vilified, someone to be seen as nasty. There’s a reason we have the phrase ‘wicked step-mother’ afterall… Whilst a parent re-marrying is a big thing, and can be difficult to deal with, The Baby-Sitters Club showed the nicer side to a step-parent, which was refreshing to see! Whilst Kristy does have a problem with her Mom’s fiancé in the beginning, she comes round to the idea eventually. We’re also shown that her Mom’s fiancé is a nice person, not someone trying to steal a mother away or send the kids off to boarding school.

Arguments Amongst Friends

Arguments are a part of life. We might disagree with friends and family over certain subjects, but they’re usually small and don’t make you feel as though the world is ending. However, when arguments between friends and family happen on-screen, the drama involved can be next level. Whilst entertaining, it’s not exactly reflective of real life! The Baby-Sitters Club normalised this issue when the group argued with Kristy over the running of their club. Instead if it dramatically ending the club and everyone running home to cry into their pillow, the argument was treated as a minor hiccup, they talked things out, and things returned to how they were before.

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Getting Your First Period

Correct me if I’m wrong, but TV Shows and movies that are targeted toward teens, rarely bring up a topic that a lot of teenagers will experience – their first period. And when it is mentioned it’s made into a massive deal, with talk of womanhood and suddenly being mature. If you’ve had your first period, you’ll know that this on-screen representation is completely OTT.
That’s why, when Kristy gets her first period, and it was dealt with in a completely normal way, my jaw nearly hit the floor. Kristy goes to use the loo, and notices she’s started her period. When her friends come to check on her she announces what’s happened. Mary Anne simply passes her a pad and tells her how to use it, and that’s that. The simplicity spoke volumes. It was refreshing to see this teen issue being normalised on screen.
Have you watched The Baby-Sitters Club on Netflix yet? What did you think of it?

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