Because it is so fetch.
There are about a million one-liners I could have used up there ^. And that’s just the beauty of Mean Girls, isn’t it? I quote it in one-third of my posts. I reference it at least once a day. I eat, sleep, and breathe Mean Girls. Don’t you?
You’ve already read a million not-so-original articles about the 10th anniversary of every millennial female’s favorite chick flick of all time, and I can probably name them all for you: you’ve got the “10 years from now” posts–every single one of which claims Cady evolves into a National Geographic photographer, you’ve got the rankings of the best quotes, and the “fashion advice we learned from Mean Girls.” Finally, you’ve got the analytical pieces that love rhetorically questioning: why, oh why, is Mean Girls still prevalent today?
I feel like after ten years of obsessing and a few weeks of anticipatory reading, we’ve got all this stuff down. Thanks, Internet.
But I’m still wondering one thing that everyone’s seem to forgotten: how did Mean Girls get so popular in the first place?
My first Mean Girls memory takes place during fourth grade recess. I had heard of Mean Girls, but I hadn’t seen it. However, every other Juicy-tracksuit-wearing fourth grade girl had (I wasn’t allotted a Juicy tracksuit until seventh grade, when they were already uncool, and mine was from Century 21). The girls kept telling the cutest and most popular boy in my grade that he was “so fetch,” simply because he nor any other boy knew what “fetch” meant. I was on the same page as fetch-less boy, but I joined right in calling him that strange and distant word, too. One kid who had seen Mean Girls informed the popular boy what “fetch” really meant, and Real Housewives’ status chaos ensued on the the jungle gym. Just like that, I lost my Mean Girls virginity.
The older I got and the more I watched Mean Girls, my perspective began to shift. For example, it was a couple years before I realized that Cady’s “word vomit” wasn’t from being nervous around Aaron Samuels, but was really a result of the punch she chugged a few minutes earlier. No one ever told me those two scenes were correlated. One day, I just figured it out. But other things didn’t make as much sense to me then, and still don’t today. I love Mean Girls just as much as the next person does, but after going through elementary school, middle school, high school, and then college, I can’t help but see a clear distinction between the “Mean Girls world” (not Animal World or Girl World, though those can be considered as well), and the real world.
There are certain moments in the film where teenage wasteland–portrayed as Regina George’s McMansion–is demonstrated accurately. Most of these leak out in Lindsay Lohan’s innocence. “I used to think there was just fat and skinny,” she says, “but apparently there’s lots of things that can be wrong with your body.” But other than that, the drama is dramatized. No one ever asked me if they could butter my muffin, which is fine. I cut out muffins once my ex-boyfriend told me that my spirit animal was a whale, anyways.
We love Mean Girls for being as over-the-top and as unrealistic as it is. It’s a world we’d never want to live in, but are entertained by. Or maybe we do, secretly, wish our adolescence was more like the Plastics’. Maybe we’re jealous of how boring suburban life really is, where the Damian’s haven’t come out of the closet yet (no matter how functioning they are), where the Regina George’s don’t have actual dress codes for every day of the week (instead, they spend their money on trendy hobo-chic attire), and, most disappointingly, Cady Heron’s never become cool in the first place.
In real life, the Plastics are so plastic they’re impenetrable… except by Shane Oman in the projection room above the auditorium.
Ok, I’m done. I promise.
Sunday, bloody Sunday.
You’re a hungover slow loris, making you an extremely slow loris. (If you don’t know what a slow loris is, but you can just tell that you are one, click here.) The expectations for Sunday are low: you are supposed to brunch, you are supposed to Instagram what you ate at brunch, and then you are supposed to get back in bed and Netflix yourself into oblivion.
If you’re psycho like me, you’re one of those who refuse to let Sunday slip by sleepily. You have to push through it all: go for the quick-fix protein bar instead of the eggs benedict, Instagram the extra large coffee accompanying your open laptop instead of your midday meal on a city sidewalk. Your life has, albeit reluctantly, got to go on.
However, my thighs never want it to. They plead for spandex and Top Shop leggings. My collarbones beg for cashmere crew necks (not as flattering on me as they are comfortable). My body says yes, but my heart says no. I’m going to be out and about, but I’m not going to be doing anything fabulous. I’m going to be writing, but in a crowded café. Or I’m going to be reading, but in a library. So how the hell am I supposed to dress? I won’t be having luxuriously slow meals or socializing with anyone at all. On a typical Sunday, I won’t see any friends until four or five in the afternoon. It’s not that I don’t want to spend time with them sooner, it’s just that it isn’t my first priority.
Sunday is limbo. I’m out but not out out and I’m busy but not in any way exciting. Is it kosher if I wear those sweats from Bloomingdale’s because they camouflage as trendy pants? When I’m somewhere that isn’t really anywhere–no matter what day of the week it happens to be–I feel torn between my obligation to style and my lackadaisical avoidance of effort.
One of my best friends is a strong believer in that looking good is feeling good. Of course, she’s right. I mean, no one enjoys looking like shit. It’s just easy to forget how bad you look when your only mirror for seven hours is your laptop screen’s jet black sleep mode.
So, she makes the extra effort in the morning. Applies some eyeliner, fixes her hair, and says it makes the biggest difference in the world. And get this: she always wears jeans. I respect her way of thinking; she looks good to please herself. She does what she needs to do to be the happiest she can be. I usually don’t. And every once in a while, when I realize how bleh I look because of it, I feel like shit. Shoulda put on some eyeliner, Hannah. Whatchu thinking, girl? Rule numero uno.
Today, I’m wearing blue skinny jeans, a striped cream sweater, and black Supergas. I don’t look bad; actually, it’s impressive I opted for the jeans. I could look better, though. I could’ve went for the overalls or the new dress. Not only is it hard for me to get dressed up on Sundays, but it’s hard for me to think of something creative to wear to begin with. There’s no boy I’m trying to impress, and I’d get cold on my walk home tonight. Besides, what if my butt starts to stick to my chair?
Another Sunday, another day of jeans and Supergas. What pushes you to look good when you feel bad? And is it really worth it to get dressed up when there’s nowhere to go?
When a new social media app comes out, I download it. Not even a question. So in the Spring of 2013, when the word “Tinder” tiptoed its way across the interwebs, I figured it was another train I wouldn’t want to miss. Without doing any research–and neglect of reading those small-fonted descriptions in the App Store–I downloaded Tinder. I followed the directions, connected it to my Facebook and took a little tutorial. In ten minutes or less, I realized (to my misfortune) what I had gotten myself into.
At the time, I was in a serious relationship with my boyfriend. I’m sure you can imagine what happens next.
I vividly remember my face turning a shade of tomato upon realization of the sin I’d committed. I felt like I had cheated, or like headlights had exposed me kissing the bad boy at the drive-in. I was sitting in a classroom–I’ll never forget it–and I was absolutely mortified. In shock, I closed the app and put my phone away. I didn’t know what else to do.
Two hours later, I get a text from the boyf: “Is there anything you want to tell me?” For the first time ever, I couldn’t think of a thing I’d screwed up. I didn’t really do anything wrong, and the Tinder sitch didn’t cross my mind once. I think for my mental health, I locked it away in the subconscious and threw away the key in an Ocean of Innocence. I had never cheated before, never done anything wrong, and suddenly, I felt like Bad Girl RiRi.
When I told him “No, not that I can think of…” he replied, “You sure?” I insisted there was “literally nothing.” Unbeknownst to be, I was just about to lose the battle big time.
“What about this?” And below those little helvetica words was a screenshot of my Facebook profile picture–which was actually a picture of my boyfriend and me, nonetheless–and a banner proudly displaying “Tinder” right above it. I was flabbergasted.
He continued to tell me that I came up on his camp friend’s Tinder. My efforts in social network experimenting landed me in the doghouse, big time. In other words, I have absolutely terrible luck.
Since then, single or taken, I’ve refrained from dabbling much in the Tinder-sphere. As you can tell, we just didn’t get off to a great start. But recently, my best friend decided to invest time and dignity into creating a Tinder account after a spell that was neither dry nor fulfilling. Rationally, it seems like a great resort.
While my longing for Tinder experimentation burst back into flames and my checking account starting singing that spring shopping blues, three of my good friends from high school ignited something of their own. Spencer Carmona, Ethan Goldman, and Bryan Lapidus–three dapper men, who are impressively tech-savvy–founded Bzar, an app that’s basically Tinder for selling your stuff. It’s great for girls like me who get much more excited by a good pair of overalls than any guy in my local vicinity.
So if you like shopping, if you want to sell those pointed-toed boots that make your calves look too big, and if you are looking for that special someone (as in “someone who has those limited edition Supergas you’ve been yearning for”), Bzar is the app for you. Like yes, I’m giving some old friends a shoutout, but to be completely honest, there’s a pretty large chance I’d be writing about the app anyway. Bzar just gets me.
Here’s how it works: Bzar locates where you are and finds other people in your area who are selling items (items = anything sellable). If you see something you like while swiping through, you can message the seller to chat about details, pricing, etc. and then use Foursquare to pinpoint a location where the two of you can rendezvous. Every seller has a profile, enabling you to assess the creepy factor safely, learn more about what he or she has bought and sold before, and see what other products are for sale. All the paying is done through PayPal–every online shopper’s best friend.
Here’s my lesson: don’t let your social networking fantasies die. You never know when they’ll be resurrected in the form of something better.