Written by Jacqueline Newell
Yesterday, the world celebrated the 10 year anniversary of one of pop culture’s greatest influences, the movie Mean Girls. We wore pink, we congratulated Glen Coco on being popular, and remembered the countless times we have watched the film [but seriously, who stole my DVD sophomore year?]. Mean Girls has been the root of several friendships, allowed me to quickly make friends by using a quote in social settings and it has also been a source of comfort and confidence.
When Mean Girls was first released, I was a seventh grader who was awkwardly trying to grow out a pixie cut. [Funny that I’ve found myself doing that again in 2014.] I went to a small private school that only had about 25 students in each grade and around 14 of them were female. A lot of people have stories about their middle school years being years of bullying and I was not exempt from that experience. But what I experienced was more along the lines of Janis’s experience, being given the boot from society settings for no apparent reason. There was even one girl who hosted a birthday party and decided to invite every girl in the grade… except for 3 or 4, myself included.
After going home and explaining the situation to my sister and my mother, my mother took me to see Mean Girls. Needless to say, I related to Janis when she drives by Cady’s house to see she is not at a Ladysmith Black Mambazo concert with her parents and, instead, is throwing a rager. This is the one time in the entire movie when someone is called a mean girl. After watching the movie, the humor and realistic scenarios were enough to keep me hooked on the movie for years to come. A lot of my confidence comes from having been bullied but a lot of it also comes from how I have learned to handle situations. Mean Girls has been my answer to a lot of problems and the foundation of many solutions. I wear pink on whatever day I want, am a proud former mathlete and have sang “Jingle Bell Rock” in front of a packed house.
I know I’m not the only one who has been inspired by Mean Girls. I hear “you can’t sit with us” thrown around casually between friends, college students weekend mixer outfits can be explained with “I’m a mouse, duh” and I make my friends do my make up while complaining about my nail beds. Mean Girls was recently added to Netflix’s instant watch and TBS replays the movie constantly, so binge on my friends! I think my biggest take away from the movie is that you have to just be yourself.
So the next time someone tries to throw shade on you, just say “whatever, I’m getting cheese fries” and do you.