The Social Relevancy of Mean Girls

The Social Relevancy of Mean Girls

It has been over a decade since Tina Fey’s cult classic, Mean Girls, Starring Lindsay Lohan, and Rachel McAdams was released in theatres. With the recent resurfacing of 2000s trends in fashion and music, Mean Girls is now considerably more relevant than ever.

            In short, the movie is about homeschooled Cady Heron (played by Lohan) who quickly befriends two social outcasts named Janis and Damian. These two outcasts notice how quickly the three most popular girls at school, lovingly nicknamed the plastics, take liking to Cady and convince her to dethrone the social hierarchy in place at their high school. The reason that Mean Girls is so relevant, even years after its release, is because of how realistic the characters and plotline is in the movie. Notice how it is called Mean Girls, as in plural. Noting that almost every character does something mean to everyone. Everything that happens is something that could and would happen in real life and all the characters are grounded in reality.

            Let us look at Regina George. She is probably the most well done ‘Queen Bee’ character I have personally ever seen in cinema. Take note of the first time she talks to Cady, when she compliments Cady’s bracelet. Cady of course says thank you and the scenes progress. Flash forward thirty minutes into the movie when Cady and Regina are friends, or rather frenemies and Regina compliments a girl’s skirt while talking to Cady.  Regina uses similar verbiage to describe her skirt as she did Cady’s bracelet. Referring to it as ‘Adorable’ and ‘Unique’. The moment the girl leaves, Regina says; “That is the ugliest effing skirt I’ve ever seen” indicating she probably has not been honest in a lot of the things she has said to Cady or her other friends. Some other elements of Regina that were well done and realistic that the movie touched base with were her non-so-perfect family life, her flawed interpersonal relationships with her friends and romantic interests, and her struggles with self-image. These are all real issues that so many young women have faced and still face now. While she may have been painted as a villain, she has a lot of interesting, campy qualities to her, making her extremely easy to relate to.

            This is when I like to point out that every character is in fact a villain, but every character is also a protagonist. The point is they all do good AND bad in this movie. No one comes out unscathed. Regina may be the Queen Bee that steals the protagonist’s crush away, but she also gets hit by a bus. Cady may end up becoming the most popular girl in school, but she ultimately has a character arc as well, and ends up actually being civil with the plastics come the end of the movie. Janis may be a social outcast, but she does convince socially clueless Cady to dethrone the social hierarchy. They all do bad things, and they all end up doing good things, and what makes this movie so socially relevant, even now, is because this is how young girls, and even woman act in real life. What is important is growing from your mistakes and learning to be the person that you can be.