Staff Opinion: Why 'Mean Girls' is genius

By Ana Clyde | October 3, 2018 9:36pm

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Ana Clyde shares why she thinks 'Mean Girls' is a cultural masterpiece.
by Annika Gordon / The Beacon

“It’s October 3rd” — a line so many of us recognize, and a reality today. And since this year October 3rd has fallen on a Wednesday, the day we wear pink, it’s only fitting that I take this time to discuss why I think the Tina Fey classic, “Mean Girls,” is cinematic genius.

First and foremost, I think it’s important to explain that “Mean Girls” is not meant to be an accurate representation of the high school experience. It is purposefully exaggerated and a bit ridiculous, and if you don’t understand that before watching the movie, then you probably won’t get the movie at all.

This is part of what makes the movie so smart, and what separates it from other high school films. It mocks common themes and stereotypes seen in teen movies by stretching them and making them over the top. 

For example, Fey uses “The Plastics,” and more specifically Regina George, to poke fun at the idea of a whole student body idolizing a group or an individual. But instead of just making these characters simply popular, they’re treated like and talked about as if they were celebrities. By doing this, Fey makes fun of how popularity is conveyed in other movies set in high school. Because who would actually be okay with someone punching them in the face, even if they were popular or famous?

Another reason why “Mean Girls” is a cultural masterpiece is because of the writing. I mean, I hear quotes from the movie all the time. 

“The limit does not exist.” 

“It’s like I have ESPN or something.”

“Get in loser. We’re going shopping.”

These lines have stayed relevant and iconic even after 14 years. I was all but six years old when this movie came out, and yet I can recite certain scenes word by word. Why? Is it because I’ve watched this movie an unhealthy amount of times? Maybe. But it also has much to do with the film’s timeless quotes that have resonated with our generation.

And they will continue to resonate with generations to come. My friends and I still bounce lines back and forth, saying “She doesn’t even go here,” when someone says something we think is irrelevant to the conversation, or “It’s so fetch” when we actually don’t think something is fetch.

So, next Wednesday, put on your pink tracksuit, call over your Plastics and your “cool mom,” sit back with your cheesy fries and watch this iconic film again.

Clyde is a junior political science and Spanish major, she is also the copy editor and a sports reporter at The Beacon. She can be reached at clyde20@up.edu.  

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