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?
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