We’ve all seen the movies and read the stories of the ugly beautiful girl who enters a high school situation and is relentlessly bullied by the mean girls, but ends up turning into a beautiful swan, and the mean girls get their karma in the end, right?
Well, those are almost always from the “normal girl’s” perspective. There are two sides to every story. Now, I’m giving you the perspective of the mean girl*.
*NOTE: I am a man. This is just for lack of a better term.
I finished high school in 2010, so it’s been a while since I experienced the cliquey culture that I once participated in, but during the latter years of my secondary schooling, my group of friends were
affectionately named “The Bitch Group” and for quite good reason as well. I will be the first to admit that we weren’t exactly the nicest group of friends, although I can say we were fiercely loyal to each other. There were about eight or nine of us together, and the more there were, the more powerful we felt.
We weren’t the stereotypical Mean Girl group: we weren’t all rich with our daddy’s credit cards and we didn’t attend wicked underage parties every weekend and hookup with random guys and we sure as hell didn’t co-ordinate our wardrobes to be pink every Wednesday (only because we had school uniforms). The pure foundation of the stereotype did stick, however; we were horrible to some people, sometimes blatantly and unprovoked, and we did commandeer a highly popular rank on the school hierarchy.
To others, it was simple: stay on our good side, or you will live to regret it.
I remember one time when a new girl started in year 11 at our school. She was nice and pretty enough and seemed like she’d fit in with us well. After finishing our first set of classes, I walked to my first lunch period and sat down in our usual area. This particular new girl walked past us, clearly with no real home location to go to. I invited her to sit with us… and she politely declined. I didn’t take that politely, however, and from that moment on, I would call out horrible things to her to the point that she’d cry. Everything was completely unprovoked and there was no real reason as to why I hated her. But rejecting an invitation to The Bitch Group was turning down popularity, and for a 16-year-old Black Widow, that thought was completely unfathomable. And I hated her for it.
That brings up one of the main reasons why “mean girls” act the way they do: they need control of everything, and when they lose a portion of that control, they lash out. I had already mapped out where this girl was going to sit in our circle and where she’d fit into our social gatherings, and by completely denying me of that painted out future, I felt as if I lost control of the situation, and I took it out on the independent variable in that situation.
Control is power, and in a tense environment like high school hierarchy, power is everything. I would get away with many of the vile things I did because I had control of the situation; I would smile sweetly to the teachers and staff at school while throwing verbal insults and sometimes physical rubbish at the “nerdy group” when they had their backs turned. To lose that control would literally send me into a spiral, so I guess I had to go to some extreme measures in some cases to make sure that control never waivered.
Do you remember in the original High School Musical where they were absolutely appalled that Troy and Gabriella were doing things outside of their high school archetypical interests? I mean, God forbid a basketball player wants to make crème brûlée. As ridiculous as that sounds, it really was true. As member of The Bitch Group, I felt like I was morally obligated to be mean to people with no real reason. There was an overwhelming sense of peer pressure I felt on a daily basis, yet no one was physically or verbally cajoling me to do so. So where did I find the motivation to do the horrible things I did?
I felt that being part of my group of friends meant that society thought I should do what I was “meant” to do, and that was be a bitch. I wasn’t allowed to talk video games and comics with the nerds (even though I was a HUGE closeted gamer and nerd) because that wasn’t my role in society, and I definitely wasn’t allowed to be nice to those who were lower than me on the social hierarchy. I even forced a few interests onto myself that fit my clique: fashion and make-up and all those typical girly things. Nowadays, I couldn’t tell you the difference between foundation and concealer, and the only fashion show I’ll willingly watch is Victoria’s Secret.
At the ripe ages of 15-17, that’s when people are at their most impressionable, so they’ll feel as if they have to play a specific role in a movie that isn’t even going on.
People may think that mean girls are mean because they want to be, but just like (almost) every other human being on this planet, they have souls, and sometimes it takes a deeper look into someone to see the real person behind their vicious words and iconic death stares.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, there’s one more mean girl stereotype we didn’t fit: contrary to most coming-of-age-teenage-girl stories, my group of friends stuck together through and after high school, and five years later, we are still the closest bunch of friends.
Part two of these confessions will be up before you can say “Watch out, Radioactive Man!”
– by Noah La’ulu