12 Lessons 'Mean Girls' Taught Me About Life
I was only a young, impressionable 7 year-old when I first watched Mean Girls.
I was only a young, impressionable 7 year-old when I first watched Mean Girls. It instantly became one of my favorite movies. I can relate so much to Lindsay Lohan's character, Cady, and her struggle just to have real friends that would accept her for being the lame-o loser that she is.
Even though I was only 7 at the time, I could relate because my mother took me out of kindergarten way too early. All my friends were there - so instead of being in preparatory school after kinder, I went straight to first grade. It was kinda intimidating because I'm instantly in a huge public school with kids that are much bigger than me. I definitely had feelings of being lost in the jungle.
Moving on, now that I'm of the same age as Cady Heron in the film, and watching the movie for the umpteenth time (for its 12th anniversary!), Mean Girls really taught me a lot about life, friendships, integrity, and having your own identity.
Here are some of the lessons I learned.
1. Be Careful Who You Choose As Friends
It's common courtesy to be nice to people who play nice to you. But the moment you sense that they're trouble, don't give in to peer pressure. It's still fine to be nice and play along with them, but hanging out, not so much. You'll likely pick up their bad habits.
2. Don't Play Dumb
Especially, don't play dumb just so you can get a guy's attention. If he's really in to you, he'll be impressed that you're intellectual equals. He'll need someone who can challenge his smarts and not appease an inflated ego.
Plus, when you're busted for playing dumb, you'll look like an even bigger fool, and will likely need to take a summer class to make up for your grades (nobody would want that).
3. Be Popular For All The Right Reasons
If you fit in, you don't really stand out from the crowd. Each one of us is unique and different, even if some still think it's a big deal to be prettier than others. Mean Girls taught me that being popular isn't good if you're only famous for infamy.
4. Girls Can Be Vicious; Don't Be.
The tension between Regina and Gretchen, and then Cady and Regina are clear examples of the beginning of a vicious girl fight. It would all usually start off with gossip or a misunderstanding. The feuding parties will vent to you. The thing is, one shouldn't speak of the dirt spoken between just the two of you, with anyone else. Especially if both are your friends. Advise them to talk things through and salvage the relationship. Don't add fuel to the fire.
5. Coolness Isn't Trying to Be Cool
Regina is cool. Damien and Janis are cool. Even Kevin is cool. What do they have in common?
They're not trying hard to be cool. They're original and aren't trying hard to be like someone else. And that's why everyone else TRIES and wants to be like them.
6. Ex-Boyfriends Are Off-Limits to Friends, That is, Unless You're Totally In-Love (Not Just Smitten!) With Each Other
'Cause that's like the rules of feminism!
But seriously, your friend might feel betrayed; even though she said it's fine, it doesn't mean that it actually is. Or perhaps it's because she knows the guy isn't worth it and your friend just wants to save you from the heartbreak. It should totally be off-limits, unless the guy and you know that you're really head-over-heels for each other and not just infatuated.
7. Don't Throw Parties When Your Folks Aren't Home - Unless They're Fine With It
That's because parties are messy. Especially if it's like a wild, clandestine high school party like Cady's. Unless you can make even the uninvited guests clean up their mess a la The Pacifier - it totally won't be worth all the trouble. Don't shit where you sleep.
8. Don't. Be. A. Bully.
Regina didn't think she was a bully. Even though she's really abusive and mean. When she was retaliating back at Cady, she was really nasty. And it resulted in her breaking her neck. Still, Regina George was the living proof that the more people are scared of you, the more flowers you get.
Moral of the story is, your actions will always have consequences. Manipulating situations to your advantage may get you far, but it could also horribly backfire.
Yes, it's definitely hard. But you gotta do it, even if it's all that you can do. Repairing broken relationships has gotta start somewhere. As what Cady said, when you're bitten by a snake you gotta suck the poison out of your body. And that's what making things right does. It sucks out the poison.
10. Never Let Anyone Change You In A Bad Way
Lesson #1 also applies here. It's true that high school changes us into someone we never thought we'd become. The choice is ours whether that's a good thing or a bad thing. In our very core, are we changed for the better, or for the worse?
Almost every teen in this film is conniving. They all wanted things to work out to their advantage. However, if that includes having to put down another person, it really won't end well. They may look like adults, but they still have the somewhat selfish mentality of children. Mean Girls taught us not be that kind of person.
11. Be Independent
Before you had friends, there was only you and your family. When you set out into the world (or just school), you were most probably alone. Remember that having friends to rely on is just as important as being able to rely on yourself without the aid of others. Because at the end of the day, when there's no one else to rely on... You only have yourself.
12. Don't Let The Haters Stop You From Doing Your Thang
Basically, don't let anyone tell you that you can't accomplish things no matter how great or small. The sky's the limit. Well, if I'm really being honest here:
Thanks Mean Girls, for changing my life forever. That's so fetch.