•May 21, 2007 • Leave a Comment
I’ve always found it interesting that the title of “mean girl” is typically applied to women, or teenage females who posses those certain qualities that make them considered “mean”, while their actual ages are far from classifying them as “girls”. The term girl diminishes a sense of authority and power, seeing as a girl is younger, less mature, and childish.
Women that are very distinguished in their fields but manage to gain the “bitch” status, and thus acquire the title of mean girl are lowered in status when the word “girl” is attached. Why is the word “girl” so often used even when the references that are made do not necessarily reflect young females?
The attitude of any “mean girl” is clearly lacking in maturity, as the “girl” is generally pompous and arrogant and apathetic towards the feelings of others. Therefore, aside from simply being seen as mean or malicious, a mean girl is also seen in a childlike light because of her behavior.
Grown women like Naomi Campbell and Janice Dickinson have certainly gained reputations for their comments and behavior that are often out of line, but by calling them mean girls, whatever they have accomplished thus far seems almost trivial as they seem less respectable. Therefore, identifying someone as a “mean girl” at all exposes them as a person of lesser character in all aspects.
•May 18, 2007 • Leave a Comment
Janice Dickinson reappeared in the eye of pop culture when she, and her cynical, overwhelming presence joined Tyra Banks on America’s Next Top Model after also being on VH1’s “The Surreal Life”. Dickinson burst into the world of modeling at the tender age of 14, a completely new look at that time, and by 19 had conquered the world of modeling as she redefined exactly what it means to be a “diva”. As Dickinson constantly says on her show, The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency, and as she frequently told the models on ANTM, she had no easy time making it to the level of success that she did.
Priding herself on the claim that she is “the world’s FIRST supermodel”, Janice was never one to hold her tongue or show in restraint in her opinions towards the models on ANTM. Janice was known for being harsh and unrelenting, but its easy to say that her behavior and attitude towards the aspiring models was simply degrading and far from uplifting. Tyra Banks has had just a much of a challenge being a “big girl” in the modeling world, yet on the same show (ANTM) has a completely different personality and outlook. While she may share similar views towards some of the models, the way in which these are presented is done in a much kinder manner. Continue reading ‘Janice Dickinson’
•May 16, 2007 • 1 Comment
Last March Naomi Campbell threw her cell phone, her Blackberry that is, at her assistant. Why?? Over a pair of jeans that her assistant, Ana Scolavino, had supposedly stolen from her. Is it really necessary for someone as glamorous, revered, and fabulous in the world of models to carry on like this?? Naomi admitted in court that she had thrown the phone, and would accept her demeaning, tragic sentence of community service. Naomi got off incredibly easily seeing as such behavior performed by anyone else would generally be classified as a a second degree felony assault In additon to her five day community service stint, Naomi had to endure a two day anger management program and pay for Scolavino’s medical treatment. This is also Naomi’s ninth alleged assualt in eight years! It is no secret that Naomi makes well beyond a six-figure salary, yet she had the nerve to apparently claim that the relatively small bail amount bestowed upon her was an insult.
Naomi has been accused of the following: Continue reading ‘Naomi Campbell: Super Mean Supermodel’
•May 16, 2007 • Leave a Comment
The Wicked Witch of the West is perhaps one of the oldest, most infamous mean girls to date; but as the Broadway musical Wicked tells, she had a quite a path that led her to her throne as the Queen of Mean. Like most mean girls, there is an extensive amount of drama, tragedy, heartbreak or SOMETHING that leads a girl to have such a cold, hardened attitude towards everyone else despite her exalted view of herself in relation to “everyone else”. While Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of West’s name given at birth, according to Wicked, may not have had the true “popularity” as does the typical mean girl, she certainly was revered and held an authority, even if it wasn’t in the most positive light. Wicked the Musical does a simply beautiful job in portraying the formation of a “mean girl”. Continue reading ‘The Wicked Witch: The Mean Girl of the West’
•May 16, 2007 • Leave a Comment
“Somewhere along the line, we seem to have replaced sweetness with tartness in our definition of femininity”- Ariel Levy, Allure Magazine April 2007
When did this evolution begin to take place?? While it seems impossible to decide on a true definition of what it means to be “feminine”, it is evident that today’s definition is far from that of our grandparents and some of our parents definitions. I remember a few years ago my mother gave me a book she received from my grandmother on her 12th birthday. This book was old-fashion in its approach to the idea of femininity. It was made to teach pre-teens and teenage girls how to carry themselves as respectable young woman and how to behave in a manner that is socially acceptable. I had quite a laugh reading all of the ideals it listed that are found in “the perfect young woman.” The characteristics for being “perfectly feminine” were amusing seeing as though the woman being described was often passive and weak. Some of the suggestions given were:
1. To be feminine, a young lady should always laugh at a male counterparts joke, but must laugh quietly and graciously, covering her mouth with the tips of three fingers.
2. A girl should only wear slacks when participating in physically demanding activities like gardening.
Femininity was almost solely based on how you presented yourself in front of others, and, consiquently affected the way in which you were perceived. A truly feminine woman was never harsh in demeanor and carefully shared her thoughts so they did not seem overly aggressive. A woman could be smart, but could not display her intelligence so that it became intimidating, all while exhuding poise, eloquence, and grace. I wonder how this manual would have been different in describing “the perfect gentleman.”
Now, it is very apparant that femininity has drastically been redifined by women and clearly surpasses the ideals that were valued fifty years ago. We live in a society where feminism is often defined by a woman who is in control of her life and behavior, sticking up for her rights. At the same time, the value of grace has not necessarily been thrown out of the window, as she must still display “kind” characteristics and qualities. Often though, in sticking up for what she deserves, a woman becomes characterized as bitchy and mean, rather than adament about her beliefs. It’s no secret that we still live in a world of glass ceilings, and that women at the top of their fields have had no easy time getting there. So then, is a woman who has worked and struggled to earn a specific position that has a bit of a hardened edge a mean girl, or simply the product of struggle?
•May 4, 2007 • 2 Comments
The other day when at a friend’s birthday party I had a most interesting encounter with a young woman whom I know only indirectly. While sitting and taking a picture with another friend towards the end of the party, this fellow student walked up behind the photographer and said, “Y’all aren’t cute”. Clearly thinking that it would be impossible for anyone that had never actually met us to say something so absolutely unnecessary and crude, we replied, “thank you!” To this, we were shocked to hear “No, I said y’all AREN’T cute!” and the young woman then exited the party.
Now, having survived going to an all girls high school for two years where there was nothing “better” to do than talk about each other and to another high school where forgetting to smile at someone in the hallways could quickly result to being “defriended” on the latest web phenomenon, Facebook, hours later, I thought that I had seen the cattiness at its worst; this reached an all time low. Continue reading ‘“Y’all Aren’t Cute”: Mean Girls that Hold Nothing Back’