Pop-Culture | Posted by Helen H on 01/28/2010
The Mean Girls Reality
It may have been my simplistic seven-year-old view of the world that made me categorize everyone into ‘good’ and ‘bad’, but I soon got over it with the help of time, and even things like movies. Still, there was one kind of movie that never seemed to stretch that idea of good and bad, that always seemed to use the same archetypes, and frankly, that scared me.
Yes, I’m talking about the high school flick.The protagonist? The new girl, warm-hearted, pretty, smart. The antagonist? A typically blonde, vapid creature, who is usually captain of the cheerleading squad and always vain. Most of the time, the plots aren’t too creative either–our evil, sputtering antagonist realizes that new girl is a threat to her popularity, especially after new girl catches her boyfriend’s attention. So, antagonist comes up with some nasty ploy to destroy new girl and keep 1st place in the popularity contest.
Fast forward, though, to my first day at my own new high school, one of the best and most expensive in Jordan. I was given a scolarship to go there, and it was well-acknowledged that this school was for the diplomats’ sons and daughters, the children of rich businessmen. This, of course, terrified me. Not only was I afraid of being outcast as one of the scholarship students, but also of finding myself in one of ‘those’ high schools, the ones I’d seen far too many times on T.V.
Neither happened. I’ll speak for myself, because as an overall uninvolved girl who likes to be on good terms with everyone in a relatively small school, I’m probably not the best person to give advice on this. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying my fellow high school girls are entirely peaceful creatures–I’ve seen girls bitch-calling and holding months-long grudges and I’ve been slapped by a best friend who claimed I was flirting with her crush. So, I don’t think it’s that we’re innately programmed to act like the cast of Mean Girls. I think it’s just that we’ve seen so many movies like it that we start noticing the little similarities–like, we see a girl who’s popular–and we immediately make a connection.
And if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s never to take another high school flick seriously, because I’ve seen some girls who could fit in the ‘vicious cheerleader’ stereotype, and hey, they’re not so vicious after all.
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