The Wicked Witch: The Mean Girl of the West
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”.
Born differently than everyone else, with green hued skin, Elphaba had to endure being made fun of her entire life. Shunned by her father, left motherless at birth, and with only one sibling who, bound to her wheel chair was constantly doted on, Elphaba never had much to look forward to in life. Regardless, she was compassionate and loving towards everyone, while knowing that she was made fun of and disliked by not only her classmates, but her family as well. When Elphaba goes away to boarding school, she meets Glenda (The Good Witch) who originally is the ring-leader of the teasing aimed at Elphaba. Before Glenda and Elphaba become best friends (a bit of a long story, see the musical, it’s great!), Glenda is everything Elphaba is not, and also the perfect picture of a mean girl. She’s pretty, popular, snobbish, back stabbing, and wanted by everyone, as girls want to be her and boys want to be with her. She shows no shame in making fun of Elphaba, her roommate, and even when she tries to “help” Elphaba become “popular”, her intentions are very questionable. Glenda’s behavior towards Elphaba raises the idea that perhaps once you experience the wrath and cruelty of a mean girl personally, when given power, you may become one yourself.
Naive, and simply a kind person, Elphaba thought that the Wizard shared good intentions like her own, and actually thought he would be able to help her. Yet, after so many let downs it is understandable that one could abandon all hope and succumb to becoming someone they had never desired to be.
While Elphaba technically gained popularity, it was really notoriety, as she truly was feared by an immense group of people (basically everyone in Oz!). If Elphaba’s character is truly supposed to evolve into the same wicked witch portrayed in The Wizard of Oz and become malicious, then it is just like a “mean girl” to harass Dorothy, an innocent harmless girl who cannot defend herself. In Wicked, after the one person to ever truly love Elphaba is also taken away from her , she sings in the song “No Good Deed”, I promise no good deed Will I attempt to do again/Ever again/No good deed/Will I do again!. And thus, the Meanest Girl of the West is created.