Happy Mean Girls Day! Is there anyone among us who hasn’t seen this teen comedy at least three times? Sure, the flick was chock-full of snark, but it also taught us important life lessons that had nothing to do with wearing pink on Wednesdays. Below, check out five life lessons we learned from Regina, Cady, and friends.
1. We always have a choice.
I saw an Albert Einstein quote this morning that read, “Weak people revenge. Strong people forgive. Intelligent people ignore.” When Cady infiltrated the “plastics” to get dirt on them, she lost who she was in the process, becoming the very thing she hated. Asking for forgiveness for her misdeeds at the film’s climax was a sign of her growth and strength. Watching the freshman “in crowd” march down the street but looking away to focus on her own friends and happiness displayed her maturity. Instead of getting wrapped up in hateful gossip and petty drama, we all have the ability to choose alternatives like focusing on achieving our own goals and bringing our authentic selves to the table. –Diana Denza, Communications Associate
2. Often, the “the flaws” we see in ourselves are not “visible” to other people.
There is a scene in Mean Girls where Cady talks about how she learned how there could be many things “wrong” with one’s body. As social commentary, this scene functions as an indication that we are socialized into criticizing our bodies. But also, many of the things pointed out by the girls in the movie were not things that others could see. Unfortunately, as in real life, the self-criticism becomes a way of socialization for Cady. However, one of the great “lessons” of the movie is that there is a cultural phenomenon that we can and should dismantle. –Kira Rakova
3. Internalized misogyny is real.
Mean Girls was a popular movie when I was in middle school. I remember watching the scene where Tina Fey’s character has all the women gathered in the gym and is telling them they have to stop calling each other names because it makes it okay for men to call them those names, too. It was one of my first glimpses of feminism and internalized misogyny wound up in a few simple lines about not calling each other “s***” and “w****.” Women tearing other women down won’t get us anywhere and will ultimately backfire. We have to be better role models both for ourselves and for generations of women to come. –Kate Leddy
4. Don’t let your inner Regina George CRUSH your confidence.
Mean Girls taught me that beauty can be internal and external, but internal beauty is most important. It also taught me that our true beauty shines when we are confident in ourselves! Just because I don’t love to wear pink on Wednesdays (or ever) doesn’t mean that I can’t be proud of my own unique aesthetic. The same goes for my thoughts, ideas, opinions, and talents–everyone is unique and beauty is beauty! I think most of us have felt “victimized” by our inner Regina George at some point, and that’s okay. At the end of the day, it’s all about being true to who we are inside and out. –Annie Zomaya
5. We can create the change we wish to see.
The Mean Girls movie taught me so much about how we are all connected in so many ways and how we each impact each other through our words, even when we think we don’t. The epic scene of the girls in the gym trying to reconcile really touched me. Though humorous at times, the scene showed the power of words and how what we say can change people’s lives. I believe this is even more so true when it comes to body shaming, particularly with the things our society or media say, because their words can hit someone’s core. If anything, the movie Mean Girls is a symbol of how not to act in a sometimes disruptive and insensitive world. We each can be the hope and change we wish to see. –Ashley Michelle Williams