Wealth and Social Status

Many of the films of the 80’s (and most from today for that matter) put a great emphasis on wealth. Wealth being the thing that controls whether one is going to be popular or well-liked. A few examples being Ferris Bueller, we can tell from his house and even Ferris’s dad’s office that the Bueller family has money. Ferris is also a very popular kid. Cameron too, he lives in a very nice house and his dad owns very nice cars and what do you know he is best friends with Ferris who is one of the most popular kids in school.

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Another example comes from Dirty Dancing in which you can see both the rich and the poor. You have Baby who comes from a very rich family and she is very pretty and all the boys want to talk to her. Her sister who is one of the most annoying characters but yet she is still popular. The father is the reason the entire movie takes place he is a well-liked man and it is a friend and patient of his that owns the resort that they go to. The other families that are at the resort are also very wealthy and you can see that this allows them to get whatever they want and in turn makes them popular around the resort. Then you have Johnny who has to work for a living and he doesn’t have money from the family and he is walked all over. His boss talks down to him and he is treated poorly.

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In Sixteen Candles Jake Ryan is the most popular guy in school and what do you know he is also ridiculously wealthy. He drives a Porsche and has a huge house. A house that is sufficiently large enough to play host to party with all of the senior class along with some unwanted underclassmen. Even Jake Ryan’s girlfriend shows signs of having great wealth; from her perfect hair and perfect clothes.

Jake Ryan Jake's Girlfriend

Then from The Heathers the wealth of all the families involved is obviously the reason the Heathers and Veronica are popular. Their wealth is what gives them their social status. They have the money to have the latest clothes and the best hair products to make them the ideal women for that time period.

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This can still be seen through in today’s movies as well. For examples, The Heathers sister movie Mean Girls also has very wealthy main characters–the wealth undoubtedly led to these girls becoming the “it” girls.

As you can see Regina drives the really nice car and has a really nice house and so obviously she must be the most popular girl in school.

I think the moral of this story is that you must be wealthy to be popular! Obviously because Hollywood has made this apparent for the last few decades. But according to this news story perhaps popularity is what brings the wealth not the other way around. That’s not the way Hollywood has long portrayed the role of money and wealth.