Friday, April 11, 2008

Blog #4 - A review of Mean Girls from a feminist perspective

Stevie R. Bowling
WS 200 – Online
Professor Ryan
Blog #4
A review of “Mean Girls” from a feminist perspective

The 2004 hit Mean Girls depicts the life of a 15 year old high school student named Cady Heron, who not only has been homeschooled by her parents who are zoologists, but recently moved to the U.S. from the bushes of the African jungle. It was Cady’s first time in a mainstream public school and she really struggled with fitting in with her classmates. When she first met “The Plastics” three girls named Regina, the head “Plastic”, Gretchen and Karen who were all about fashion, materialistic and very self centered, they took Cady under their “wing” and it really challenged her morals and what she knew was right. Cady had met two true friends along the way and constantly hung out with “The Plastics” to get an inside scoop on how evil they really are, but soon fell into their trap of hurting others feelings, acting superior to others and ignoring what she knew was right.

Cady soon became a totally different person and began obsessing over things like the coolest parties, rules “The Plastics” lived by and began blowing off her family and real friends. When Cady made the move on Regina’s boyfriend and turned the other two against Regina, she really took a turn for the worst. Regina began to sabotage Cady by blaming her for the evil things she had really done and soon everyone hated Cady. By the end of the movie, “The Plastics” broke up and began to realize how nasty they really have been to people all these years. Cady was crowned Spring Fling Queen and gave an apology speech to all of those out there that she hurt along the way. Regina quickly changed the way she treated people also and no longer judged people by the way they looked. All of the girls made new friends and didn’t worry about being so popular anymore. They realized that hurting people’s feelings and acting so materialistic was not going to make them truly happy.

Stereotypes are huge in this film and in it is where gender roles are really laid out when it comes to being popular in high school these days. Lohan and “The Plastics” are loved but hated at the same time by everyone. They have all the latest fashion tips, drive the coolest cars, hang out at the mall and enforce the “rules of feminism” or so they call it when it comes to dating someone else’s ex-boyfriend. This movie really portrays all of the negative stereotypes that are placed on women, especially that they are pretty much just all about looking pretty, keeping slim, wearing all of the cool clothes and dating only the most popular boys in school. I feel that this film does not give a positive or empowering representation on females at all, because of the way that the girls act and all of the petty things they do that make them so “popular”. I feel that if young women were to watch this film that they would believe they had to be in the highest fashion, form a small group of the so called powerful people and act like they are being nice to people when they are really trash talking them behind their back and making them feel that they are not good enough. To me, Mean Girls just makes young girls believe that it is right to judge others, act petty and love the fact that so many people try to be them, but will never even come close to being the popular figures that they are.

I definitely do not consider this a feminist film at all. In no way do I feel that there are any major breakthroughs when it comes to the issues that women face, unlike some other movies from our past. For example, there are movies out there depicting women that really make a difference and prove to others that women are capable of doing the same things that men do and they should not be looked down upon because they are female. Mean Girls on the other hand actually goes against that fact that women should not participate in some activities and say certain things because those kinds of things are for men and never would a girl want to portray any type of masculinity!

I have seen Mean Girls a number of times on DVD and on television and I personally do not hate the film at all, but in no way do I think it has a positive effect on young women out there. I wish that young girls would not have to see movies like this one that focuses so much on the fact that you have to be pretty, fashionable and popular to have friends and in order for people to like you. Although, I don’t think the film should be taken off the shelf because of some of the negative images it places on high school females. I think the film can catch the movie go-ers eye in two different ways. I see some young women watching the film and idolizing the plastics wanting to be just like them and treating others the way they do in the movie, but then I also see young girls watching the movie and being able to realize that you don’t have to act that way to be popular. When I first saw the movie when I was in high school, I didn’t feel that I had to act like “The Plastics” to be popular. I was happy with my own personality, my own style and knew I did not have to change. Personally, I liked the movie when I watched it and do still come across it on T.V. every once in a while and still find it enjoyable, because I know that’s not always how it is in high school and not everyone acts the way they do. As always, you make up your own mind and act the way you want to act. Don’t let a silly little movie change your outlook on life and how you have to live it just to be popular.

To learn more about Mean Girls go to:

The Internet Movie Database:
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews:


bruce said...

Mostly DVDs leave a negative impact on youth(less than 18 years). They should not visit it because avrious wrong thinking concepts generate in their minds.
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