‘Mean Girls' Taught Me Everything Heather Taylor

When I was 17 and a junior in high school, I was published for the very first time. I wrote up a piece on the injustice of taking the ACT exam and getting the exact same score, four times in a row. At the time, it was pretty much one of the most frustrating things in my life, something that I likened to “feeling like the walls in my living room had begun to leak water and were drowning me as I read the same number for the fourth time on my ACT form.”

This was published in a newsletter that my school subscribed to called StudentPaths. When the newsletters were passed out in my homeroom, I leapt up in my seat after seeing my article and made some sort of weird strangled sound with my voice that I think was a scream of excitement. Luckily, it was barely even 8am and my classmates were mostly half-asleep. As I walked into our morning TV announcement room to pose with our vice principal with the newsletter, my heart was pumping with joy. My first piece! Published! Ever! You always remember the first one.

For the article, I was able to include my first author bio, which at the time read that I was 17 and wanted to pursue a career in journalism. But enough of that, let’s get to the good stuff. Every author got to include their favorite quote with their bio. After much soul-searching and a general intolerance for working the tired Gandhi/James Dean quote angle, I settled on this little cinematic gem:

“I’m sorry that people are so jealous of me… but I can’t help it I’m so popular.”

Any Tina Fey or chick flick buff worth their salt will tell you that this one came from a Miss Gretchen Wieners in the movie Mean Girls. No, not the one who couldn’t spell “orange” – that one was Karen Smith. And definitely not the queen bee who met John Stamos on a plane once (and told her she was pretty) Regina George. I’m talkin’ about the heir to the Toaster Strudel empire who had to pretend that she didn’t even like white-gold hoop earrings. I feel you, Gretch, I do.

I learned a lot from Mean Girls, which was released during a time where I was actually in high school and could relate to these problems. It was 2004, a simpler time. Cell phones didn’t have apps, Tina Fey was still writing jokes on SNL and we all had high hopes for the spunky redheaded Lindsay Lohan’s career. You felt like you could see yourself in this film, to some small degree. The Burn Book in particular definitely made everyone wonder: man, if I got featured in there, what would someone say about me? Depends on the person creating the book, you’d think. I’m proud to say that at least I never made out with a hot dog though I have assaulted many curly fries in my day.

Never Date a BFF’s Ex

It is seriously the rules of feminism at work here. Gloria Steinem might have said that a woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle, but what she really meant was that the man in question could not be your best friend’s ex. It’s called reading between the lines. You’re welcome.

You Really Can’t Make British Slang Happen in the Suburbs

It’s depressing, isn’t it? I liked “fetch” for what it was worth. So fetch. It could still happen and become a thing, right? I went through a period where I used to say “bloody hell” and was teased by my family members for doing so. To date, there is nothing I like better than a British accent. Something about a guy cocking his head toward me and saying “right then, jolly good” has me to the point where I just want to have all of his babies ever for him. Which would have to be born in the UK, thus giving me a valid reason to move and claim citizenship overseas. Always keep trying to make fetch happen, ladies of the world.

Touching the Opposite Sex Will Result in Chlamydia…That You Will Die From

And here I was thinking all you’d get was just cooties. Coach Carr, you will probably go down in film history as the most quotable gym teacher ever.

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  1. i completely understand the british obsession, and am happy to say that i did end up marrying a brit (and am still in love with his accent) – now i can’t wait to have babies and listen to their adorable accents. but, i have to say, that “fetch” isn’t british slang – they use it just like we do, you play fetch with your dog, etc. some have started using it since mean girls, but that was all the influence of the film… (which was fabulous and one of my favorites)

  2. I didn’t really appreciate this movie until I reached high school, and when I did I can definitely say that a college prep school has a lot in common with this movie. To all those adolescent girls wondering what high school might be like: throw out High School Musical. Watch Mean Girls. It just might save you one day.

  3. What I learned from Mean Girls is more like what I learned from Lindsay Lohan.

    1) Don’t do drugs.
    2) 9 times out of 10, your natural hair color/color family is going to look the best.
    3) A little bit of extra weight really does make you look so much healthier and more beautiful.

  4. Love it! “There’s a thirty percent chance that it’s already raining.” I actually snuck into this movie in the theatre after seeing the second Shrek movie.

  5. You can go shave your back now, bye Jason.

  6. I feel that.

  7. It’s not sad you can recite this word for word. Every single girl (and my poor boyfriend) that posts a reply to this article will be able to recite that entire movie.
    “God created the Remington bolt action rifle. So man could fight the dinosaurs. And the homosexuals.”

  8. I agree Amalia – a true bitch always does get her way.

    Mean Girls is my favorite movie (okay, when i’m around other people I say it’s in my top five and I mix in some more “smart” choives, but let’s be real – Mean Girls is a classic). I can quote it endlessly so this article made my little Mean Girl heart swell with glee.
    One other lesson from Gretchen Weiners that you failed to include is the knowledge she dropped on Karen Smith. “Karen, you can’t just ask people why they’re white.”
    Ahhh Mean Girls.

    “Four for you Glen Coco. You go Glen Coco.”

  9. A life lesson I’ve learned from ‘Mean Girls’ is that being a bitch is not an easy thing to pull off. It kind of intoxicates you, not everyone can handle it. BUT you cannot ignore this: a true bitch, say a Regina George or a Blair Waldorf, might be feared or hated or whatever, but she pretty much always gets her way. And even though I can’t and I definately won’t become a Regina or a Blair, being a bitch is sometimes what you have to do. And you have to be OK with it.

  10. Fetch can still happen.

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