Thursday, 12 March 2009

Mean, Meaner, Meanest

"Women would run the world if they did not hate each other." Interesting words uttered from the mouth of Chris Rock but also very true. Where ever you look examples of girl on girl hate is prevalent; books, TV, film and music, we are all party to seeing young women treating each other badly. These are issues that author and educator, Rosalind Wiseman tackies in her book, Queen Bees and Wannabees where she looks at ways of handling aggressive girl behaviour. She also goes into the secret world of school cliques and breaks them down into six categories: Queen Bees, Wannabes, Messengers, Bankers, Targets, Torn Bystanders. Queen Bees and Wannabees is an important book because not only does it give us an insight into the socio-political inside of girl world it is also the inspiration for Mean Girls. Defined as a combination of Heathers meets Clueless, Mean Girls was released in 2004 to critical acclaim and is now regarded as one of the best teen films of all time. The success of the movie might have had something to do with the hotness of Lindsay Lohan at the time but Mean Girls is truly all about Tina Fey and her brilliant script writing skills.

Mean Girls was Tina's debut as a writer and actor in a feature film and I supposed you can say that it was also a semi bio project as the movie touched on a lot of things that she experienced at high school. The cast also includes performers from Saturday Night Live of which Tina is an integral part of. This teen dramady is the story of Cady Heron played by Lindsay Lohan, a teenager who moves to a new school after having an idyllic upbringing in an African country. New to the social rules of high school she finds herself an object of interest by The Plastics ie the Mean Girls who run the school. The Plastics are headed by Regina George played by Rachel McAdams and they take her under their wing and she finds herself escalating into the school popularity ranks. However, unknown to The Plastics, Cady is secretly plotting with social outcasts Janis Ian played by Lizzy Caplan and Damien played by Daniel Franzese to bring down Regina. As she becomes immersed in life as a Plastic Cady usurps Regina to become the new Queen Bee but pretty soon she gets addicted to her new found power and starts to neglect her real friends.

The character of the Queen Bee runs similar in a lot of films and TV shows from Heather Chandler in Heathers, Taylor Vaughan in She's All That and Blair Waldorf in Gossip Girl. Rosalind Wiseman defines the the Queen Bee below:

"She holds the combination of charisma, strong will, looks, money, force and manipulation. She is the centre of the group not because she is well liked but because of the fear that she holds over the group. She sets all the rules and changes them to suit her own purposes."

As enjoyable and funny as Mean Girls is, the film also has a steely edge that is a tad bit disturbing. As Tina Fey describes, the film shows how girls know how to mess with each other. Talk about art imitating life.

0 cool comments: