Women and Femininity
There's a part near the end of Mean Girls when, as the girls of the junior class brawl throughout the halls, Joan the Secretary yells to Mr. Duvall, "Ron, come quick! They've gone wild. The girls have gone wild!"
Joan: they were wild all along.
Mean Girls presents a vicious version of womanhood that rings extremely true for, well, pretty much every woman in the Western hemisphere. Its mascots are The Plastics. They're self-centered, they're cutting and cruel and talk so much garbage about their female peers that it literally fills a book. They're also the most popular people in school, the social gold standard, a fact that speaks volumes about the way society at North Shore and beyond values women. Fortunately, that's where Cady comes in, to unintentionally reshape the status quo.
Questions About Women and Femininity
- How are appearance and femininity intertwined in Mean Girls? How does Cady's appearance change as the story progresses, for example?
- If The Plastics are so popular, why do they need to maintain a Burn Book? Shouldn't they have better things to do?
- How does pop culture contribute to the toxic femininity at North Shore?
- Cady tells us that there's peace in Girl World at the end of the movie. How long do you think that'll last?
Chew on This
Mean Girls is a take-down of toxic femininity.
It may feature girls gone wild, but Mean Girls is a unique comedy because it features an almost entirely female cast and none of them are boy-obsessed maniacs.