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Teen Social Systems in “Mean Girls” Essay

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Updated: Apr 27th, 2020

The article by Denby David identified two characters among the teens that were popular for all the wrong reasons, and therefore, they were again the most hated. Denby started by describing a blonde who he claimed was the most hated young woman in America. According to Denby, a blonde always had likeminded friends, including a male counterpart who was equally dumb and rowdy as her. Denby further argued that not all the movies would depict what he wrote concerning the two characters above.

Denby went further to point out that teen movies had an element of dominating the society, for instance, he pointed out that teens used to rebel at anything adults considered sacred but with time they changed and stopped because their parents no longer have any authority over them. Denby specifically concentrated on shading light on male and female villains in teen movies. Of significance, according to Denby, was that the villains usually formed cliques with each clique adopting its ways (Denby 1).

In the movie Mean Girls, the director shed light on girl cliques. A lot of focus was directed to the plastics as it was the most outstanding of all the cliques at the school. One thing which was outstanding was that Mean Girl was filled with many conspiracies. The conspiracies were intentioned towards revenge and satisfying some individual selfish ends.

The bright side of this movie was that at the climax of all the conspiracies, everything tumbled down paving the way for the grand reunion at the very end of the movie. Having briefly examined the article by Denby and the movie Mean Girls, there is a need to correlate the two.

There is much correlation between the reading and the movie. Denby argued that a blonde was the most popular girl but the most hated; in Mean Girls, Regina George fits this description well. Denby also noted that a blonde usually had like-minded friends who can be identified to be Gretchen Wieners and Karen Smith in the movie.

According to Denby, a blonde usually had a male counterpart which was also true in the movie, but the difference was that Denby thought that the male friend was always a football player and academically poor a feature that was not seen in Aaron Samuels. Denby also failed to mention the possibility of a blond being ousted from her position as we see in the movie. Denby however successfully described the ways of a blonde a description which perfectly fitted Regina George, and Cady grew to fit the same description after ousting Regina George.

Denby noted that teen revenge often turned bloody. This happened in the movie as there were several girls who wanted to avenge themselves on Regina. Janis made a move to avenge herself on Regina by using Cady. The plan did not go through because some issues came in between, and instead it was Cady who wanted to destroy Regina.

Cady succeeded in isolating Regina from the plastics, and eventually, there was a possibility that Cady killed Regina by pushing her against an oncoming school bus. There are many issues which are raised from by Mean Girls which affect the society and the teens in particular.

The Mean Girls raises a pertinent question about teens and by extension about the society. Denby claimed that teens were their enemies, and the system that they set up was the poison they used to commit suicide. This reasoning is quite relevant both in the movie and by extension, in the contemporary world by the virtue that movies depict what happens in the real world. Using the movie Mean Girls, it can be demonstrated that truly teens are their enemies.

Regina and her two friends were exclusive; they had purposely excluded themselves from the rest of the girls at the school. Apart from the plastics, there were other cliques, and seemingly, these cliques had reservations on each other.

Each of the clique believed it was the best. This created some tension among cliques as they competed to outdo each other. This was the kind of system that Denby viewed to be hostile and one that worked against the teens. With such kind of cliques, teens are automatically set against each other by virtue of belonging to different cliques.

The existence of such cliques creates an environment whereby each teen wants to bring down the other; it is either in revenge or trying to punish the other. This was well portrayed through the well-elaborated plan by Janis to use Cady to bring down Regina George. This system has no room for negotiation or reconciliation. Cady became a victim of the system when she turned out to be Regina’s enemy. Cady made an elaborate plan to isolate Regina from the rest of the group members. She also planned to destroy her face and make her fat.

It is worth noting that Cady was a very good and innocent girl at the time she was joining the school. After getting involved with the plastics, she gradually changed from the innocent girl she was into being a bad girl. It can, therefore, be argued that it was the clique that influenced her into being a bad girl.

Comparing Cady right after joining the school and Cady the leader of the plastics, one cannot be wrong to blame the teen system for being the enemy of the teens. It is that teen system which forced Cady to take up the blame of the burn book because Regina George had framed her as the author of the book.

In conclusion, it can be argued that teen movies depict the culture of teens. Teens have got their system of operation with some distinguishing features. The readings of Denby and the movie Mean Girls all showed that in a given social institution, the teens create their systems. Teen systems are usually in some form of cliques, which consisted of like-minded teens.

In the teen systems, there is that individual who comes out as untouchable; Denby described such an individual as a blonde, and in Mean Girls, this individual was Regina, and later she passed the button to Cady. It is true that the teen system does more harm to the teen than any good; in Mean Girls, it set the girls against each other and turned Cady from an innocent into a very cruel girl.

Though the movie on a reconciliatory note, this does not always happen in real life as the enmity persists. There is a need to ensure that teens are educated on better social systems to enable them to grow into being responsible adults.

Work Cited

Denby, David. High-School Confidential: Notes on Teen Movies. International Baccalaureate English. Book Teacher, 1999. Web.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Teen Social Systems in "Mean Girls"." April 27, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/teen-social-systems-in-mean-girls/.


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