BY LAUREN NISBET
It kind of weirded me out when I discovered that it had been ten years since the release of Mean Girls–that quintessential high school movie that pretty much sums up all of our lives as teenaged girls. It begs the question: What about this movie makes it so memorable? Why are we still quoting it a decade later? Maybe because it perfectly captures the most awkward, surreal, awesome, weird and scary time of all of our lives, and does so with a sense of humour that is both clever and incredibly dumb, with some pretty solid one-liners.
In honour of its anniversary, let’s take a look at some of the universal high school truths we learned from Mean Girls.
1) You are never going to make “fetch” happen
We all had that thing that we wanted to make “our thing” in high school. Maybe you had the punk thing, maybe you were the jock, maybe you were the hot Asian or the artsy one. Maybe you read a lot of books (who, me?). Everyone in high school wants to make some kind of mark with our own personal “thing”–whether it’s fetch, or hoop earrings or cargo pants and flip flops–but when all is said and done we’ll never be summed up with just one thing. Maybe it sounds harsh coming from Regina George, but let’s be real, “fetch” was never going to happen.
2) On Wednesdays we wear pink!
You will look back on your high school outfits and cringe. This is a fact. If other people in the photos are dressed similarly, this may soften the blow. Looking like you’re part of a crew, feeling like you belong–we all want to wear pink on Wednesdays. Even if you have to borrow an oversized golf shirt from your new gay friend–totally worth it to feel like you belong.
3) Don’t have sex, because you will get pregnant. And die.
Adults are going to tell you not to have sex. It will not be convincing. Maybe your health teacher won’t be fooling around with Trang Pak, but his/her perspective on your urges and hormones will never seem particularly relevant.
4) Ex-boyfriends are off limits. I mean, that’s just like the rules of feminism
There are a lot of rules to follow in high school, especially when you’re a girl. Sometimes they’re simple, like when you can only wear your hair in a ponytail one day a week (…so, I guess you picked today…), others are more complicated. Trivial and arbitrary as they may seem, failure to comply with these rules can make or break friendships–because everything is a big deal when you’re 16. And the rules are real. Just like that time Karen wore a vest.
5) We have all been personally victimized by Regina George
Everything is not sunshine and rainbows. You will not be baking a cake or feeling happy all of the time. Things will occasionally suck. There will be bullies. If you’re different or if you don’t blend in, you may be singled out. If you make out with a hot dog and people find out about it, you will be made fun of, even if it was just one time. But it’s not the end of the world. Seriously, it’s only high school.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAOmTMCtGkI]
A media studies grad and pop culture junkie currently navigating the strange and mysterious world of corporate communications, Lauren spends most of her time buried under an ever-growing pile of TBR novels. Based in Toronto, she can be found at the local theatre every Tuesday for cheap movie night. Follow her on Twitter @laurenxnisbet