The Death of the Mean Girl

Mean girl culture is something most of us navigated in high school. We grew up and we got over it. Or did we?

Colleen Murphy


Photo by Ashley Whitlatch on Unsplash

Comedian Tina Fey penned Mean Girls the 2004 movie, a classic comedy poking fun at the real issue of girl-on-girl bullying. The unchecked insecurity of alpha-girl Regina George is unleashed on anyone in her orbit in devastating fashion. And we can all relate.

Tina shared her mean-girl past with

I was the mean girl, I admit it openly. That was a disease that had to be conquered. It’s another coping mechanism — it’s a bad coping mechanism — but when you feel less than (in high school, everyone feels less than everyone else for different reasons), in your mind it’s a way of leveling the playing field. Though of course it’s not. Saying something terrible about someone else does not actually level the playing field. If I meet a girl of 14 or 15 today who is that kind of girl, I am secretly, in my body, afraid. Even though I’m 45. — Tina Fey

As kids we are so desperate to fit in. Being singled out, left out, called out was devastating. You needed the right clothes or bag just to blend in. We grew up and moved on, right? Most of us did.

I will never forget my first mean girl. It was 4th grade and she was a neighbor of one of my friends. I will call her Karen. Two years older than me, Karen was tall and intimidating.

She confronted me on the playground and accused me of being mean to one of her friends. I had no idea what she was talking about. We were both friends with that girl. Nothing had even happened between us It felt like she was going to hit me. I was scared as she pushed closer to me. Threatening me.

Why did she go after me? I have no idea. Some perceived slight may have set her off. But she seemed to be annoyed that I had become close with one of her friends.

When that bully comes at you we all react the same way. Dread. The deep empty feeling in the pit of your stomach. It’s fear and it’s horrible.

What is that fear? I think at it’s core, it is a fear of being eliminated from the group. If this person calls you out, maybe you will be excluded. Everyone will hate you. You…



Colleen Murphy

Writing about the beautiful journey of life and love. We are all figuring this out together