Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Girls Rocking 2015! - The Mean Girl Dilemma And Why We Need To Stop Talking About Each Other

Have you ever watched the movie Mean Girls?  If not, it's a comedic film about a clique of high school girls and the hell they raise on the other female students.  The girls have this scrapbook called "The Burn Book" where they write terrible things about their fellow students and the teachers in their school.  The main character, Katy, has lived her life traveling with her parents and being home-schooled, until she joins this public high school in her junior year and is befriended by the clique, dubbed "the plastics".  With their backing influence, Katy goes from being a friendly, innocent girl to a vicious monster, fueled by gossip and drama.  After watching this movie, I began wondering, why do girls feel the need to talk about each other?

Let's take a look at cliques and why they can become so dangerous.  Cliques are nothing more than a group of friends who stick closely together.  Peer pressure can become a big influence in groups like this.  These girl cliques set the standard for what is "cool" by all wearing similar clothes, having their hair done the same way and getting attention from boys.  Naturally, a lot of girls on the outside want to be part of the "in crowd".

Not only are these cliques very selective about who they let into the fold, they can also pressure girls both in the group and on the outside to do things to hurt others or break the rules to prove their loyalty.  They bully girls by making fun of their clothes, teasing about the way they look and are just plain mean to them.  The mean girls establish themselves as the most popular, prettiest and what the outside girls should strive to be.

Sadly, these cliques are not limited to high school girls.  They are in elementary schools affecting girls as young as six years old - and adult women deal with them every day.  In fact, I know of them existing in churches.  So why do girls feel the need to talk about each other?  Let's look at some reasons.
  • Peer pressure - A girl talks about someone else to fit in or prove loyalty to the clique.
  • Afraid of retaliation - They do it because they are afraid the group will turn on them.
  • Instability in life - Something is off balance in their life so they take it out on someone else.
  • No support at home - They aren't getting the attention or affection at home so they act out.
  • Lack of confidence -  The girl has low self-esteem and is jealous so they use their position in the group to bully other girls.
We are in a time when hit "reality" tv shows demonstrate grown women name-calling, talking behind each other's backs and lashing out violently.  How can we expect anything different from our daughters when we Tivo these programs or talk about a friend behind her back with our girls sitting next to us, hearing every word?

Women have enough battles to face in the world without having to deal with the mean girls.  Why don't we stop talking behind each other's backs and start supporting each other?

Here are some additional articles you can read on the subject:

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  1. Wow, this needed to be said and you said it so well! I love your thoughts on why girls do this-- it's always good to dig deeper to see what the need and pain might be beneath everything else.

  2. Women supporting women is such a huge thing that we need in this world and it's so often ignored as something that's just not "that important". I love your post.

  3. Thank you for your sweet words, Daisy. This topic has been on my heart for a long time and I'm glad I finally posted it.

  4. You are right, Alyssa. Women need to support each other more than ever. Thanks for your kind words!

  5. Very good article. I have four girls and we deal with this a lot, especially when my niece plays the part as one of my daughters and my niece are in the same grade. She has even gone as far as to not invite her cousin to her birthday party, when my daughter asked her about it. She said, that was her "friends" party and she could come to the "family" party. So the situation has been a great teacher for us on how to spot,support and address the issues that cause girls to become a "mean girl".

  6. Lori, this is a tough subject and they certainly don't talk about it in the "What to Expect" books when you're pregnant! I have dealt with mean girls both in high school and as recently as my last place of employment. I hope your niece grows out of this and she and your daughters go back to being friends again!

  7. Meaghan | Cook. Craft. Love.February 18, 2015 at 7:03 PM

    I'm so happy to report that, looking back I never really experienced bullying or "mean girl syndrome" at the hands of people at school or in my peer group! I'm saddened by how many other girls I see doing it, though

  8. Very good story! I remember watching "Mean Girls" years ago with one of my daughters - I felt it was so mean spirited (but unfortunately true) in a lot of ways - very true!