As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, there shouldn’t be a need for an article on “mean girls”, right? Unfortunately, yes there is. This phenomenon exists in wards and in other church circles just like elsewhere else. Mean girls are just that—girls/women who are mean to each other in certain ways mainly particular to females. This “mean” treatment of others hits a peak in the junior high and high school years, although it generally begins in elementary school and can extend with some women their entire lives. The purpose of this article is to explore the mean girl phenomenon and give you ideas on how to more effectively deal with such treatment. For men, the “mean girls” phenomenon is helpful to understand when your girlfriend or wife is either engaging in it and/or the victim of it. Rather than ignoring it or pretending it isn’t happening, men can challenge and offer support when these traits surface.
What Are “Mean Girls”:
The idea of “mean girls” is not new. However, the concept became mainstream with the release of the 2004 movie “Mean Girls” featuring Lindsay Lohan and Tina Fey. In this movie, the Lohan character Cady is new to a high school where her initial friends inform her about the main mean girls clique there that has caused so much pain to others. The mean girls are lead by Regina George and her minions Karen and Gretchen. Cady decides to take the challenge of infiltrating this mean girls clique to enact some kind of revenge on them for the pain and suffering they have caused so many. In the process of doing so, she learns all about, challenges, and eventually exposes this clique.
Through this process the audience learns all about the composition of and tactics of a clique of mean girls. Basically, there is the narcissistic “queen bee” leader (Regina) who, with her good looks, strong personality, and trend setting, makes all of the main decisions and sets the trends for both the group, as well as those out of the group wishing for her acceptance. The “minions” Karen and Gretchen are her main followers/enablers that conform to what Regina wants and does what she says. They do this in exchange for being included in the group and for the popularity and fun Regina generates as the leader. Cady infiltrates the group and also becomes a new supposed follower. Everyone else apart from the group is treated as an outsider to be excluded, backbitten, ridiculed, looked down upon, and treated as “less than”. Being excluded from the group causes much pain and esteem issues with everyone else, illustrating the hurtful and destructive nature of such mean girls cliques.
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