Anti-Bullying Week: Things 'Mean Girls' Taught Us About Bullying
"YOU CAN'T SIT WITH US!"
OK, so although Mean Girls came out in 2004 (can you believe it’s been TWELVE YEARS?) it’s still the most quotable chick flick possibly ever. Most girls (and a LOT of guys) can still quote from it, but how did it stand the test of time?
It’s a classic. Not only cos it’s, frankly, hilarious, but because it speaks SO much truth. As it’s Anti-Bullying Week this week, we’re going to list some of our fave Mean Girls quotes about bullying, because although the term “bullying” is never really used, bullying is what the mean girls do, so we can learn a LOT from it.
1. There are two kinds of evil people
"There are two kinds of evil people: people who do evil stuff, and people who see evil stuff being done and don’t try to stop it" – Janis
Janis says this as a technique to convince Cady Heron to ruin Regina George’s life cos Regina is mega-mean to everyone, and basically Regina spread a rumour about Janis that she was a lesbian and didn't invite her to her pool party and there was just a massive drama. So Janis wants revenge. BUT whatever her motives, she's totally onto something.
Bullying is not always straight forward. Anyone who laughs along and joins in, or even turns a blind eye, makes a decision to do so. So joining in with bullying is just as bad as initiating, and anyone who sees evil things going on has a responsibility to try to stop it. Janis = QUEEN.
2. Slut-shaming is RIFE
"You have all got to stop calling each other sluts and whores. It just makes it okay for guys to call you sluts and whores" – Ms Norbury
How many times do the characters in Mean Girls call each other sluts/ something equivalent? A LOT, that’s how many.
And at this point, Ms Norbury gives us an insight into her philosophical wisdom. If all gals stopped slut-shaming, when guys said it it would have no power whatsoever. We’d be all… “so?”
Why didn’t we ever have a teacher like Ms Norbury!?
3. H8ers gon h8
Probs the best character in Mean Girls, Kevin G, says perhaps the most important thing in the whole movie to Cady.
“Don’t let the haters stop you from doing your thang” – Kevin G
Or maybe it’s the most important thing to us because Kevin = life. He says he only dates interesting women, which is why he ends up with Janis (SPOILER if you haven’t seen it, but then again, you most likely have). As a rapping, talent-show performing mathlete, Kevin is literally the most confident guy in school, who has zero qualms about doing his own “thang”. Joining mathletes is supposedly “social suicide”, but we don’t see Kevin giving a single f**k.
Also note how the greatest people Cady meets are Damien and Janis – who are not only hilarious and loyal friends, but they’ve also got life sorted cos they’re not afraid to be themselves. Damien is openly gay and uses the girls’ toilet at school and Janis wears thick eyeliner and bat-like garms. Also they both wear suits to prom. They don’t give a f**k either.
4. Bullying can be SLY
From snide comments and spreading rumours, to full on confrontations and b*tchy phonecalls, Mean Girls shows us how varied bullying can be, and how subtle too.
Remember when Regina talks to Aaron, supposedly to set Cady up with him, and actually tells him stuff that would put him off her? Yeah, that was harsh.
"I’m not saying she’s a stalker, but she saved this Kleenex you used and she said she’s gonna do some kind of African voodoo with it to make you like her" - Regina George
Then Regina gets with him herself and flaunts their relationship in front of Katy at school. Ouch. See below for more info on bullying and all the different forms it can take!
5. Saying sorry almost always works
If you have said something mean about or to someone, say sorry! You will most probably be forgiven by everyone, unless you get the apology wrong.
“I’m sorry that everyone is so jealous of me. But I can’t help it that I’m popular” – Gretchen Wieners
Then you might just fall flat off the stage.
6. It affects EVERYONE
There are so many different social groups within schools, and they ALL have the same problems. Nobody is more special than anyone else, and anyone can experience bullying, big or small.
“Ms Norbury had us confront each other directly about the things that were bothering us. And it seemed like every clique had its own problems.” - Cady Heron
Bullying is everywhere, and you’ve most likely experienced it or seen it happening in your own friendship groups. It doesn’t have to be a massive spectacle to count.
7. Why not talk TO them not ABOUT them
“No, cos I’m trying this new thing where I don’t talk about people behind their back” - Cady Heron
Cady learns a little late that everything got messed up by talking about people behind their backs. Even when the Burn Book comes out (and “the girls have gone wild”), Cady admits to writing the whole thing, instead of revealing who else had a hand in writing it. It makes her feel like a better person. Plus, her super- hot crush AKA Aaran Samuels overhears and begins to like her again. YAS.
Note: being nice is attractive. WIN WIN.
8. Two wrongs don’t make a right
“Calling someone else fat doesn’t make you any skinnier, calling someone else stupid doesn’t make you any smarter, and ruining Regina George’s life definitely didn’t make me any happier” - Cady Heron
‘Mean Girls’ centers around getting revenge against a mean girl, but through trying to get back at Regina Cady slowly becomes a mean girl herself. Which doesn’t end well AT ALL.
At the mathlete competition (how does Lindsay Lohan look that good in a navy polo shirt?!) she realises that two wrongs don’t make a right, and however much you try and bring someone else down to make yourself feel better about insecurities, it never works.
Basically, ‘Mean Girls’ is the ultimate girl bible in movie form, FULL of life hacks. And its messages can apply to just about every bullying situation ever. Except a punch up…
No, wait, it covers that too.
If you are being bullied, there are other places to get info and help from, besides ‘Mean Girls’. Although it is brilliant in giving everyone an insight into a sly world of jealousy and b*tchness, and giving the topic some great comic relief, it’s not necessarily the best place for info.
Try Bullying UK, Childline or the NSPCC, because all of these are great if you are a teen experiencing problems. If you want someone to actually talk to, you could also call the Childline helpline on 0800 1111.