“YOU CAN’T SIT WITH US”… The famous line that I feel many of us have heard and many of us know to what exactly is referring to. Mean Girls the famous movie written by Tina Fey and directed by Mark Walters, highlights many of the ‘problems’ that teenage girls endure throughout high school. The movie start off with two parents looking down and talking to their child about their first day of school, seconds later we realize that they are actually talking to their teenage daughter who is going to school after being homeschooled for years. The main character is played by Lindsay Lohan, who plays the character of Cadie Haron; a teenage girl who just moved back to USA from Africa. She has been homeschooled her whole life, now she is out to face the harsh world in high school.
Her first day of class she spills coffee all over her teacher shirt (played by Tina Fey) the teacher then proceeds to take her shirt off that reveals her bra right when the principal walks in. This is the first time the body of a woman is hyper-sexualized in the film. No one in the class makes a big deal about it everyone just simply laughs and moves on with their days. The next person that brings attention is Damian the “gay guy”, he is portrayed as the stereotypical flamboyant pink loving gay man. Although the film acknowledges queer people it does it in a way in which it allows everyone to make fun of him and question his sexuality. Regina, Gretchen, and Karen compose the ‘plastics’; they are seen as the hot popular girls on school. Their looks are everything to them and that is how they gain their popularity , it shows the stereotypical idea that girls who are pretty can’t be smart. Later on Cadie is accepted into the group but the only reason she is able to be part of the plastics is because she is pretty, this is when she understands that being a good students becomes social suicide.
In her class she meets a very attractive boy who she really likes but is unable to have something with due to “girl code”, you cannot have something with your friend’s ex-boyfriend. The movie takes its famous name of Mean Girls due to how mean girls are to each other. Although they are all friends they are always judging one another based on personal looks making this very problematic for the viewers. One of the most problematic issues that I feel this movie presents is the moment when the girls stand in front of the mirror and speak about how horrible their looks are when they’re absolutely gorgeous, it makes the viewers at home feel extremely horrible and begin questioning their body images. They girls are constantly trying to loose weight and always looking for ways to look hotter all to impress man.
The movie takes a sharp turn when one of the students begins to have sex with one of the teachers. This is taken as a joke , but in my opinion this is extremely problematic. I do not understand how statutory rape can be joked about in such a way and never be presented with consequences. The film is presented in way that shows the viewers how these actions are ok in high school, statutory rape, slut shaming, weight bashing , and racial jokes are NOT OK , nor are they something to joke about.
At the end of the movie everything is “resolved” as Cadie decides to actually show her talents in math instead of trying to dumb her self down for a guy. She is chosen as homecoming queen and gives an emotional speech as to how everyone is beautiful and how no one should judge one another. See this part is “cute” and all but it does not fix all the problematic situations that have been presented for the past hour. The films have been placed in such a mocking and ‘funny’ way that at the end when everyone tries to act serious is never really taken into consideration. The overall message that Tina Fey was trying to send out of girls acting like this to one another is not okay gets hidden behind all the other problematic actions. At the end of the film a new group of freshman come in and they become the new “plastics” sending the final message that girls will always be like that to one another. Normalizing the problem of slut shaming that is portrayed throughout the hole movie through the burn book, and stereotypical ideas of teenage girls.