Tina Fey's "Mean Girls" is one of everyone's favorite movies. It is absolutely hilarious, and even almost 15 years later, it is still completely relevant.
Trudging through the halls of high school, we could easily pick out the Regina Georges, Cady Herons, and Janis Ian's of our school. This was expected to change in college, but it hasn't.
"I'd Rather Be Me" Official Music Video | Mean Girls on Broadwaywww.youtube.com
Scoffing at the people who we thought were the total Janises of our grade, we only wanted to be the Regina George and plastics of our social circles.
Domineering, untouchable, unbreakable, and catty -- the traits we experienced when we saw Regina work her black magic on Cady and Janis. Something must've clicked when we watched someone else dominate the school we attend every day, to have power over people and the ability to "ruin someone's life."
With the recent success of "Mean Girls" on Broadway, I decided to give the cast recording a listen, and one song really stuck out to me, in a time where I really needed to hear something like this.
This song is the musical's version of Janis' confession about Regina George, the "middle-fingers-up" anthem to the way people treat each other, especially mean girls.
Janis said -- or sings -- "So your best friend screwed you over, acted nice when she not nice, well, I have some advice -- So raise your right finger, and solemnly swear, "Whatever they say about me, I don't care!"
Nowadays, it's pretty typical to see people shit talk one another, but it's most hurtful when it's your ex-best friend. The commonly found "mean girl complex" they possess only furthers this hurt.
Here, Janis states that when your ex best friends talk shit about you, try not to care. It isn't worth anything because it is only coming from a damaged or vindictive person.
Later she sings "--those sycophants who follow you, I'll remember all their names. When they drag you down, Like they inevitably do, I will not laugh along with them, And approve their palace coup, 'Cause that's not me."
Janis states that the people who follow a person of high order in their social group will inevitably turn on them, just like they did with you, but she will not join in on the antics because it doesn't reflect the way she feels or acts.
She finished the song chanting the title, "I'd rather be me," or I'd rather be my authentic self with no friends than put up a facade to be friends with fake and mean people.
I felt empowered like somebody finally said how I had been feeling. I'd rather have the freedom of being myself than be surrounded by people who make me feel like I'm constantly walking on thin ice.
For some reason, having a "mean girl" complex has been widely popular today, as I've heard too many stories about people who strive for the power of dominating their friend group, to be the Regina George in a group of plastics.
I thought this immature way of being social would end in high school, but I was wrong.
I saw the same thing in college, where people act like they're your friend but because of their catty nature, they fake it, rather than just not talking to someone entirely because you don't like them.
In a recent conversation with someone, they told me how they once made this student believe they were his friend when in reality they're making fun of him the entire time, gossiping about the kid's crushes, etc.
"That's not nice to do," I said.
"Well I'm not nice," they replied, in an elitist tone of voice.
Only they are nice, but their "I'm a mean girl amid my 'plastics'" mentality led them to do things like this solely to support the way they want to behave.
I can't change how other people act, only how I act.
So I decided that I wouldn't want to surround myself with hateful people who talk bad about one another -- even their friends.
I decided I wouldn't be the type of person who tries to be a mean girl to fit in with people because it isn't who I am.
I decided I would rather confront my problems and bullies head on to avoid further conflict because making a passive-aggressive finsta post solves nothing.
Finally, I embraced the fact that I was now Janis Ian living in Regina George's world, and that's okay because now I know I'd much rather be me.