Mean Girls: Post-Feminist Analysis

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It can be contended that varying contemporary texts which have been created for both children and young adults endorse post-feministic values and the importance of adhering to a consumer culture. The text Pink by Lili Wilkinson (2009) can be viewed as promoting post-feminist ideals through the inferences of dialog between characters; specifically, through the protagonist Ava. Additionally, the film Mean Girls (2004) mirrors similar ideologies as Pink which portrays a post-feminist society, revealing issues which individuals face once gender equality has largely been achieved. Both of these texts have been created for a young audience and utilise various narrative strategies to convey their ideological position. Accordingly, this essay will…show more content…
Mean Girls, set in Illinois, depicts the socio-political climate of an American high school, with it’s protagonist, Cady Heron moving from Africa and homeschooling to be socialised in her new society. The antagonist throughout the film, Regina George, is portrayed as an authoritarian woman who has total control of the school (Mean Girls 2004). Regina is shown to engage with numerous sexual partners at the same time and promotes her liberation through wearing a tee-shirt with her bra protruding out the front when she finds two holes cut at her breasts; motivating a new fashion trend throughout the cohort (Mean Girls 2004, Robinson-Cseke 2009, p. 45). This depiction of a strong, independent woman aligns with ‘Post-feminist texts-films, books, magazines and television programs characterised by a model of young womanhood that is empowered, successful, entitled, independent, socially mobile and free to choose her destiny’ (Toffoletti 2008, p. 72). Post feminism is further reflected in the film through the power change which occurs, transferring from Regina to Cady, mirroring the transfer of power from second wave feminism to post feminism. The tension between these two women can be attributed to more than personality differences, but rather ‘opposing territorial forces including middle…show more content…
Mean Girls utilizes first person perspective with the protagonist, Cady narrating the majority of the film. This technique allows viewers to personally empathise with the protagonist and take on their world perspective. Further, Mean Girls frequently goes to close up camera shots of different staff and students in the school to show the overall opinion of the protagonist at varying points of her transformation; revealing the height of Cady’s popularity occurred when adhering to the ‘plastics’ materialistic standards (Mean Girls 2004). Similarly, Pink is also narrated from a first person perspective with the protagonist Ava. Accordingly, the audience is positioned to align with Ava’s perspective such as when she says ‘When I’d wanted to change boxes and become pink and perfect, all I needed to do was change schools and buy some new outfits. Kobe couldn’t do that. People would always put him in the Asian box, along with everything that went with it’ (Wilkinson 2009, p. 150). In this way, this quote reveals how the protagonist conveys the message of Asian people never being able to break from the stereotypes associated with their nationality; highlighting how the author’s ideologies are conveyed through first person narration. Additionally, Wilkinson utilises intertextual references to characterise ‘the nerds of the story’, with
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