“I’m sorry that people are so jealous of me. But I can’t help it that I’m popular.” ~Regina George
This weekend I was in one of my favorite book haunts, Goodwill’s 50% off Saturday, and stumbled across a copy of Queen Bees and WannaBes, the inspiration for the great Tina Fey film “Mean Girls.” I have seen this movie at least a dozen times just to watch Regina George get her well-deserved comeuppance in the end.
When Rosalind Wiseman published Queen Bees & Wannabes in 2002, her goal was to help parents see how their daughters interacted with other girls, how they chose friends, expressed anger, and resolved conflicts. She introduced the terms Queen Bee, Wannabe, Target, Bystander, and explained the power plays these girl cliques used. Wiseman’s theory is that these adolescent behaviors profoundly influenced their interactions with each other, and ultimately who they become in life. I can promise you that she was spot on with her ideas.
The film “Mean Girls” sent these same messages wrapped in humor, drama, and the ultimate good wins over bad Hollywood ending we all crave. Especially for the Reginas (the head Mean Girl) of this world. I mean, c’mon, don’t we all have a Mean Girl memory or two from the revered In Crowd who seemed to glide around like the South Park kids through the halls, dressed alike, in their own world with girlspeak that did not include us? And why did they always have to be blonde? If you rode with the Mean Girls, you can stop reading now.
What I want to talk about here is the grownup Regina. You know her. I know her. She’s in our circle of friends. She wants things done HER way. She has the power to buy a new version of the little black dress and admit it, you’d love one, too. Because it looks so damn good on her. Regina does not like Anna. She doesn’t come out and ask you not to like Anna, but with what she says about her, you find yourself looking at Anna a little differently. For no good reason.
Wait. What. What the hell?
Yes, Reginas have infiltrated life everywhere because they did not grow up and become nice girls. They could be a friend and might even be your sister, or sister-in-law. I am telling you, they sneak up on us. Often unrecognized at first. And then all of a sudden you realize that somehow this superficial, self-absorbed person has become a part of your crew. Getting them out of your life can be problematic. Especially if they are related to you. If you are stuck with a Regina and find yourself having a hard time getting rid of this toxic Barbie, dear Wannabe, Target, or Bystander, I have developed a survival guide for you.
Grownup Regina (aka Mean Girl) Survival Guide
- Never let on that you know she is a Regina. She must believe she holds the power.
- If she asks you to join her group of friends for ANY social event, you must always decline. I know you wanted that mani-pedi, but all you would have heard is her snark about others.
- Whatever she tells you about anyone, know that the opposite is likely true.
- If you find yourself at a party with a Regina and she disses one of your friends, you MUST speak up and defend this person. The punishment for not doing this is repeating sophomore year. With bad hair.
- Never envy Regina’s clothes, shoes, car, home, or husband. She likely paid a price for these meaningless things that you would never have paid. And I’m not talking money.
- Do not ever, under any circumstances, compliment a Regina. On anything.
- Never tell a Regina she’s right. Even if she is.
- Think very, very carefully if a Regina asks you to do a favor for her. Hidden motives are her modus operandi.
- Remember that everything YOU tell her will be repeated. And not necessarily with the same intent. Or in the same order.
- Kindness is always the right choice and is a Regina’s worst enemy.
“There are two kinds of evil people in this world. Those who do evil stuff and those who see evil stuff being done and don’t try to stop it.” ~Mean Girls