This Millennial Version of 'The Babysitters Club' Captures the Reality of Young Adulthood

July 21st 2016

Tricia Tongco

"The Baby-Sitters Club" was full of teenage girls who were savvy, innovative, and entrepreneurial. Have you ever wondered what those same girls would look like as young adults today?

Jaded Quitters cover

Well, New York-based designer Siobhán Gallagher did. She offers her take with a reimagined Millennial version of BSC called "The Jaded Quitters Club" in a series of illustrations. They feature the BSC members as young women in all-too-familiar scenes of emerging adulthood.

Jaded Quitters cover

Gallagher discussed the influence in her work of nostalgia, social media, and traditional adulthood in an email interview with ATTN:.

ATTN: What inspired you to create “The Jaded Quitters Club?”

Siobhán Gallagher: The characters in "The Baby-Sitters Club" were such young, entrepreneurial go-getters that (although they were fictional) I admired as a kid. I thought it would be funny to [ask], "Where are they now?" And discover they're just average, bored women who maybe lost their ambitious attitudes.

Jaded Quitters cover

ATTN: What are you trying to capture in these book covers?

Gallagher: I love stories about and for girls and women, as well as the nostalgia involved in books from my childhood. This was my way of remembering those characters and thinking of the types of issues they would experience today in a funny, relatable, and kind of boring way.

ATTN: How does JQC reflect how you feel about being an adult and that transition from being an adolescent into adulthood?

Gallagher: I like that we are so familiar with the childhoods of "Baby-Sitters Club" characters, and we all had our favorite character — or one we most related to — and saw them as extensions of ourselves as kids. Now that the average BSC reader is grown up, I wanted to show the BSC characters in the same situations that we're in. I still kind of think of myself as an awkward kid and find it comforting when I can relate to fictional characters going through similar things.

Jaded Quitters cover

ATTN: How does the role of social media in our lives come into play in these illustrations?

Gallagher: I think social media plays a huge part in most of our lives, whether we actively take part or not. Some of these illustrations reflect the anxieties and issues that come along with that.

Jaded Quitters cover

ATTN: Do you think Millennials get a bad rap? Are these illustrations in any way a response to that?

Gallagher: Totally! I think Millennials get a bad rap because we're kind of shirking what a traditional adulthood looks like.

ATTN: What does traditional adulthood look like to you? Why do you think Millennials are shirking traditional adulthood?

Gallagher: I guess traditional adulthood to me is a 9-to-5 office job that you hate. I feel like this was way more common for, say, baby boomers than Millennials. And maybe this is more the case with my friend group of creatives, but being a freelancer seems to be way more common now than in the days of our parents' early adulthood days. Millennials are finding new ways to live and support themselves because, oftentimes, the old ways have failed them.

Jaded Quitters cover

ATTN: In the era of "leaning in" a la Sheryl Sandberg, I appreciate your depiction of these women as slackers. Why was it important for you to portray them this way?

Gallagher: Because no one is perfect, and to present anyone (but women in particular) as perfect goddesses with no problems or concerns is boring and unrealistic. I think it's important for depictions of women to be the same as they've been for men in pop culture: They can be lazy and sloppy and gross, because that's real.

Jaded Quitters cover

ATTN: What’s your relationship to "The Baby-Sitters Club"? Did you read the series growing up?

Gallagher: I read the series obsessively as a kid. I wanted to form my own babysitters' club, but quickly realized I much preferred reading and fantasizing about babysitting adventures than actually socializing and doing it myself.

ATTN: Do you have a favorite "Baby-Sitters Club" character? If so, why that character?

Gallagher: My favorite was Claudia, who was an artist and always hid candies in her bedroom. I wanted to be like her, so I started hiding chocolates in my room as well, but that just didn't last long, because what 11-year-old has the willpower to resist snacking on chocolates so readily available?

Jaded Quitters cover


[h/t Bust]