Revisiting ‘Mean Girls’ 15 years later

In the 15 years since the release of “Mean Girls,”a few things in our society are definitely different. The rise of social media, the age of Instagram influencers and the concept of “trolling” are now things teens deal with every day. But even with these new terms and platforms, one thing has remained constant, and it’s all right there in the movie’s title. Despite the progress and efforts made in the last decade and a half, cattiness is still an ongoing problem. Girl-on-girl hate drives the film’s plot, showing us the dangers of this behavior.

One of the movie’s most iconic scenes takes place inside the school gym and involves the girls and Ms. Norbury discussing the problems plaguing their class. This is the pinnacle moment where all of the hate comes to light. In the film and in real life, we realize that throwing around terms like “sluts” and “whores” is not only incredibly offensive but also sets us back as women. And, like Ms. Norbury states, when women call each other those names, they empower men to hurl the same insults. This is not the message we should be sending. The push for female empowerment is incredibly important and remains a pertinent fight in today’s society.

Another lesson I learned from “Mean Girls” is to never dumb myself down for a guy. This motto seems pretty obvious, but I think a lot of girls can relate to Cady in the film when she starts deliberately failing math tests to get the attention of her crush, Aaron Samuels. In the film, this choice is the catalyst for all of the other bad decisions she makes, from ditching her true friends to engaging in a catty revenge plot. Girls should never feel like the only way to get a guy to notice them is to lower their standards. If a guy doesn’t appreciate your intelligence and achievements, it’s time to move on and find someone more worthy of what you have to offer.

Last but not least, “Mean Girls” taught me to never don’t judge a book by its cover. Everyone has probably heard this phrase more than once in their life, but it definitely holds up today. Blind judgment is a huge issue in the film and leads to a lot of preventable misunderstandings. It’s important to remember that there’s always more to people than what you see at face value. We all have our own individual battles and rumors have only ever hurt people.

I didn’t think when I first saw “Mean Girls” as a 12 year old that I would appreciate its message so much as an adult, but I think it’s one of those movies that will always be popular. I just hope that one day, instead of the movie’s most iconic line, we’ll start hearing more people say “you can sit with us.”

Nicole Macias is a senior majoring in English.