Gender Issues In Mean Girls

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Introduction The film, Mean Girls, a 2004 American teen comedy, focuses on female high school social “cliques” and their effects. In doing so, the movie brings up various topics of sociological relevance, with connections to two of the main topics discussed in the first semester of this course. This film’s characters and world tie into modern socialization and gender issues, giving sociologists a satirical in-depth view of the social hierarchy present in today’s youth—particularly concentrated in young female teenagers. The movie addresses gender stereotypes, socialization and assimilation into a complex high school environment, self-fulfilling prophecy, and various other concepts important to the development of a social self for teens in the …show more content…

The film displays these issues in order to satirize them, and therefore, certain behaviour may be exaggerated to make it more obvious for the audience. As can be seen from the Plastics’ “rules”, there is a common theme present in what the “popular” girls hold valuable. From the iconic quote of “on Wednesdays, we wear pink”, to downright odd restrictions such as “we only wear jeans or trackpants on Fridays” (Michaels & Waters, 2004), the prevalent thing these well-liked, “flawless” girls seem to be concerned about is appearance. Intelligence is undesirable and unneeded in order to stand out and rule in this teenage social hierarchy. For example, when Cady says she wants to join the Mathletes, both Regina and Damien—who have very different personalities—say that it would be “social suicide” (Michaels & Waters, 2004). This suggests that no matter who it is in the film, they seem to have a common understanding that intelligence is not what makes a girl “attractive”. This is further demonstrated when Cady feels the need to act like she is bad at math in …show more content…

Words such as “slut” and “whore” are thrown around in the movie as insults towards girls in the Burn Book (Michaels & Waters, 2004). As for sexualization in the media, it shows the shockingly young age at which girls in today’s society are being exposed to this. For example, Regina’s little sister, who looks like she is in elementary school at most, is copying a dance from a censored music video featuring the song Milkshake by Kelis. The specific lyrics featured in the movie are “my milkshake brings all the boys to the yard/damn right, they’re better than yours”. The milkshake stands for a woman’s sex appeal. From a sociological standpoint, today’s media’s sexualization of females is spreading like wildfire, and making this type of perception into a norm—the idea that women should feel the need to act “sexy” in order to attract

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