4. Sixteen Candles (1984)
Despite being one of the ’80s classic teen movies, Sixteen Candles is filled with harmful attitudes towards women and the female body, and more than a few social slurs. There’s also some not-so-subtle racism, but that’s probably a point to make in another list.
Sixteen year old Sam (Molly Ringwald) is hopelessly in love with the popular Jake Ryan (Michael Schoeffling), who seemingly hardly knows she exists. Instead of breaking down numerous issues on display throughout Sixteen Candles, it would be far easier to make a short list of the worst elements:
– Sam’s grandparents make inappropriate comments about her breasts, and then her Grandma fondles her.
– There’s a running theme of body-shaming throughout the movie.
– Ted (Anthony Michael Hall) is constantly trying to sleep with Sam to satisfy a bet with his friends.
– Jake tells Ted he could “violate [his girlfriend] ten different ways if [he] wanted to” because she’s passed out drunk, then lets Ted drive her home in return for some of Sam’s underwear.
It’s not hard to see how Sixteen Candles is more than a little problematic. Practically every single character does or says something that would never make it into a movie nowadays, and if nothing else, this teen classic serves as a testament to how far society has come in just a few short decades.