Recollections: Mean Girls
I'm sure you've been seeing and reading a lot about
this, the week of its tenth anniversary, so here's one last article to end your Mean Week.
Realizing that it's been ten years since
sends me into a time warp. Has it really been
since I was in grade nine?! And, has a movie really stayed in the pop-culture vernacular for ten years straight?! Such is the power of
. I honestly feel sorry for teenagers today who don't get to experience fresh and new
in their high school years. (Although, I bet older people say that about my generation and
or John Hughes movies.) My school actually sent all the girls to see
in theatres, to teach us a lesson, I guess. I'm pretty sure I came out of it wondering how everyone was classifying everyone else into their cliques. "So, like, who are The Plastics of our school?" "Oh my god, those are the weird art kids." "There's the jocks." But, I've always been judgmental, so maybe it was just me.
I feel so lucky to have been just the right age for this movie and be a part of the
generation. Ya, sure, everyone quotes it now and gets the in-jokes, but I was actually a high-schooler when this high-school movie came out. I wasn't a kid watching a high-school movie (like when I watched
at 8 years old) or a twenty-something reliving the glory days of high school with a movie. This movie was made for
, okay? And it's been a long time since I've re-watched it, so let's get on with this and relive my high school glory days of quoting
Isn't Janis the coolest?
She has the best comebacks, she's super confident, she doesn't take anybody's shit. We all strive to be Janis. If you're not, you're doing life wrong. Well, except she totally buys into the whole cliques thing and starts the whole plan to ruin Regina's life, which isn't very nice. But, everyone learns their lesson in the end, so I guess it's okay.
Why does everyone think The Plastics are so cool?
They're more like outcasts. The three of them hang out with only each other, right? They look so sad sitting at their cafeteria table by themselves. In my school, the "popular" kids were the ones in the big group of other "popular" kids in the cafeteria and the ones who talked to everyone as they walked down the halls. Any super exclusive group of three girls would have been weirdos, even if they were super rich and pretty.
I know that teens tend to divide into friend groups/cliques, but do they actually make up rules?
All the rules that The Plastics have just seems like another way for them to have control. Girls like that are obviously unhappy and controlling their lives like that gives them comfort. Sorry to get all grown-up on you, but it's been ten years. I have some adult-ish perspective on teens now.
Who would create a Burn Book after the age of ten?
I feel like that is the kind of thing that I would have done with my friends when I was a wee kid, not a teenager. I went through my trouble child, back-stabbing-bitch-frenemies phase pretty young, though. By the time I was in high school I was over that shit.
Did anyone ever go to a high school party like that?
So many people. There are just so many people. Where is the parental supervision?! Is there alcohol in those cups?!
How long has Janis been waiting for an opportunity to execute this plan?
I think she's been planning this for a while. She is really prepared.
Are we really supposed to believe that they are using a tiny boombox sitting in the middle of the stage to play music for that huge auditorium?
Oh, I guess it's okay because it's for a joke.
How did they manage to go the whole school year with this double-friend-life?
Cady talks to Janis and Damien in class and at the mall all the time. No one noticed? And they must get together to work on their evil plan, so how is Cady fitting in school, homework, and two separate friend groups hang time?
And, why are they still friends, anyway? Wouldn't Regina have gotten bored with her little experiment pretty quickly? And if Cady is being such a Plastic bitch, why are Janis and Damien still friends with her? This is a very long-term scheme. I don't think teenagers have attention spans that long. I remember waiting a weekend to see a crush again felt like
in teen time.
"Is butter a carb?"
At this point it seems clear that Regina knows what is going on. She knows that her "diet" isn't working. She's breaking her rules. It seems like she's going along with it because she has her own plan to get back at Cady...
Who does this MAN think he is telling young WOMEN how they should act?
You don't have to be female to see that there is a problem with the way these girls were behaving, but this seems like another situation where women would rise up a protest against a man telling them what to do. That's right, give up and let Ms. Norburry take over. This is woman's work.
Would joining The Matheletes still be considered "social suicide"?
Nerds are cool now, right? If someone made fun of you for liking math, you could just come back with "I'm going to use my mad math skillz to pilot the first manned mission to Mars in 20 years. You think
lame?" Or maybe it's not so much the times, but their age. I didn't take science classes in high school, but now I love learning about science. Is it because science is cool now, or because I'm no longer a teenager who only cares about having less homework?
Does it really work to spend an entire movie glamorizing horrible behavior if you make a heartfelt speech at the end about how wrong the behavior was?
People don't remember this movie because it's how they learned to not call each other sluts. They remember the jokes, and the quotable dialogue, most of which is mean. Obviously, my school sent all the girls to see this movie so we would learn the lesson at the end, but I don't think we did. We still went on to be gossiping, back-stabbing, frenemy bitches sometimes. I think it's only now that we're out of high school that we want to reblog subtitled screenshots of the final scenes because we've all learned about feminism. But back then, we were probably more interested in following Lindsay Lohan's downward spiral on PerezHilton.com or learning to dance to Kelis' Milkshake like Regina's little sister.
Why doesn't Gretchen get a happy ending?
She found a new "Queen Bee" to serve? That's horrible! Everyone else grew and learned from their experiences, but Gretchen failed at the public apology/trust fall and then just kept living her sad subservient life.
Did we all learn a lesson?
I learned that Lindsay Lohan looks best as a redhead. Rachel McAdams looks weird in that blonde wig. Lacey Chabert has done nothing of interest since
. Amanda Seyfried has come a long way from playing the dumb sidekick. And Tina Fey will always be our reigning comedy queen.
Love ya! *kiss*kiss*