As many of you probably already know, yesterday was the 10 year anniversary of one of the greatest movies eveeer…"Mean Girls!" Such a fabulous film. I watched it last night and said all the lines out loud, because, well, 10 years later I'm still obsessed with it.
I was 14 when it came out - AKA a freshman in high school - and actual mean girls were everywhere. What is it about high school girls? Why the heck do we feel the need to be so nasty sometimes? I think puberty is partially to blame. At 14, I remember feeling insecure about my body and the changes that were (or in my case weren't) happening. I had friends who were developing into women, and I know that caused just as much insecurity as my lack of curves caused me. High school is, in so many ways, about trying to fit in while simultaneously trying to find yourself. I'm fairly certain that this causes a good deal of anxiety in young girls. And so, in an attempt to deflect away from our own insecurities and anxiety, we direct our negative feelings toward other girls (plus, we're starting or periods and we're hungry and cranky and ruining all of our favorite pairs of underwear).
I was probably 13 the first time I was called a bitch (it would not be the last time), and I remember how devastated I was by that 5 letter word. I remember girls who I thought were my best friends ignoring me for days at a time and ostracizing me from social events. I remember rumors being spread that I was bulimic, that I had cellulite, that I was a lesbian, that I was a slut, blah blah blah the list goes on and on.
I also remember standing by as some of my "friends" bashed other girls in our grade. I remember nodding, laughing uncomfortably, and agreeing when asked whether I thought so-and-so was a desperate whore-muffin. I'm not proud of standing by and passively supporting the icky things that got said about my fellow ladies. And I guess it shouldn't have surprised me when, after hearing some of the rumors that had been circulating about me, I found out it was these same "friends" instigating the trash talk.
There's a lot of girl on girl crime, and it's something that needs to change. I've said it before, but women - whether in grade school, high school, or adult life - need to promote, help, love, and appreciate each other. There's a whole lot of misogyny and inequality that needs fighting - why the hell are we fighting with one another?
I'm incredibly thankful for the strong, inspiring network of female friends I have these days. There's no gossiping, no bad-mouthing, and no rumor spreading. Instead we talk about what we're working on, we go shopping at thrift stores, we make zines and have feminist photo shoots, and, above all else, we encourage and support one another.
Watching Mean Girls always reminds me of the times I spent being a mean girl, dealing with mean girls, and my mission these days to combat girl on girl meanness. It really is a fantastic movie, one that - cheekily and humorously - points out how damaging mean girls can be (and how easy it is to become one). In fact, it's so good that I might have to watch it again today.
P.S. I'm still trying to make fetch happen <3