I’ve seen Mean Girls a thousand times. I get all the pop cultural references. I can quote the entire movie. And I always laugh when someone beats me to the punchline. Because who doesn’t like Mean Girls, right?
Oh wait, I don’t.
Mean Girls will always be known as a cult classic, and rightfully so—I never argued that it’s not hilariously accurate. So accurate that it actually played a part in perpetuating stereotypes and issues within our culture that have still gone unresolved to this day.
The movie came out when my friends and I were young, impressionable little girls. Us girls wanted to be Regina George. We wanted to be the plastics. We wanted to outcast the rest of the world.
We didn’t think the movie was funny. We thought it was admirable.
We developed this erroneous idea that excluding people was the thing to do. To establish our close clique, we talked bad about each other, dieted at too young of an age, pressured each other to dress a certain way, and made each other cry… A lot. I don’t think many our age at that time comprehended the take away of the film. One, it was meant to be a comedy. Two, in the end everyone stops being bitches to each other. DUH!
Some time after Mean Girls came out, my family moved across the city, and I was transferred to a new elementary school. Sparring the details, it was the exact opposite of the parochial school I came from. As transferring schools goes, at first there were people who said I couldn’t sit with them. There were people who assumed things of me. In essence, I got to feel what it was like to be on the outside of the ‘Mean Girls.’
We were all just kids, though. No big deal, right? Things would change as we grew up, right?
Wrong and wrong. The real world is still filled with plenty of mean girls and mean guys.
I recently found myself watching from the sidelines a man getting picked on by a group of guys his age. The reason they bullied him? Simple. He didn’t fit in with them. He enjoyed wine and cocktails, not beers and shots. He liked his shirts pressed and tucked, not ruffled and loose. He spent his evenings cooking and running, not snacking or relaxing. This poor man was the exact opposite of these guys.
Therefore, he deserved to be bullied.
I’ve been the bully before. I’ve been the mean girl in more than one instance. I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve even used this gift I have to craft words together to tear people down. So, I can speak for myself when I say I understand why we want to hide behind the term ‘mean girl’ or ‘bully’. How can something that sounds so silly be so serious?
To me, the term ‘bullying’ is so juvenile. You try taking that complaint to your human resources department and see what happens. But, when you throw the word abuse on the table… Everyone tenses up.
So let’s get real and call it what it is: Abuse. Consistently tormenting and excluding someone to the point it causes emotional and psychological damage should definitely be defined as abuse. I will never budge on this idea.
It’s important to understand everyone is constantly fighting their own insecurities, demons, and mental health to a degree. We need to be more aware of the damage we can do to a precious life just for the sake of a few laughs. Is that joke worth permanently scarring someone for the rest of their life? Do you realize the smallest insult can throw someone completely over the edge? Or does it have to happen to you first? Karma shouldn’t have to bite us in arse for us to develop empathy. Believe me though, karma has shown me no mercy.
At least I didn’t have to get hit by a bus though, right?
In the end, I want to say I have a lot of making up to do for the things I’ve done and the way I’ve made people feel. I’m sure you do, too. That’s why I want to help. I want to talk to you about doing well, feeling well, and everything in between.
Before I begin to write about all these things though, I wanted to be honest and upfront with you. I have never been perfect, nor do I promise ever to be. One day you’ll get the saint, and others the sinner.
This blog is for both sides of us. It’s for the mean girl and the good girl. The problem child and the poster child. It’s for those who are trying to balance their downfalls and bright sides. It’s for those who want to lead a better life and learn a lot of lessons along the way.
If that’s you, then I invite you to come sit with us.
Please, proceed with an open heart.