If there's one common stereotype the media never fails to portray it is that of the mean, harsh, and catty teenage girl.
They're in every movie, every show, and in every young girls' head. As a teenage girl who has suffered such horrors of bullying I wouldn't wish them on the girls who bullied me I can safely say this does hold up, but maybe it's not entirely their fault.
What I am about to say does not excuse the bullying I endured. Bullying takes away a person's worth. It makes people feel as if they're inhabitance on Earth is truthfully worthless. The things that bullies say and do constantly run in an individuals head and they are destructive; so no nothing I am about to say excuses bullying, but hear me out.
When I was a young girl I watched Disney Channel: Even Stevens, Phil of the Future, That's so Raven, Hannah Montana, and the list goes on and on. One thing all of these shows have in common is a mean girl or a mean group of girls. Girls that the main characters always get insulted by, the classic 'mean girls'. I've been watching these mean girls on TV for as long as I can remember, and as I've gotten older the mean girls featured on TV have been even worse. But I now realize that as I grew up watching these mean girls, I began to expect them.
The girls who bullied me watched TV too. They watched those same shows, saw the same mean girls and to them they were role models. They also began to expect that "mean girls" had to be present, and they occupied that role. Those girls became the girls they saw on TV, and another girl had to pay the price.
Because of the common mean girl stereotype that was constantly portrayed, girls followed their lead and decided to become those people. What would have happened if they showed no mean girls in the shows my peers and I had grown up watching? What would have happened if the girls on these shows supported each other? If they showed girls not as cruel, jealous, shallow beings but as caring, empathetic, smart individuals who realize that putting someone else down is not how to raise oneself up.
I understand people might say, "That is not reality" and There will always be mean girls" and they definitely do have a point. There will certainly always be mean people, unfortunately humans have a tendency to be cruel; but if the media started to show young girls how easy it is to be nice maybe they would follow those role models instead of the cruel girls.
If the media stopped continuing the stereotype that girls are the most vindictive beings to walk the planet, maybe they wouldn't be.
Again this does not excuse what bullies do, nor do I think that if the media showed girls being nice to each other there would be no more cruel people ever again. But if the media stopped playing into the idea that there must be a group of mean, harsh, popular girls in every school, then maybe girls wouldn't occupy that role. Maybe fewer and fewer girls would get bullied each year, because all girls were now watching nice role models.
The media is a powerful source, and maybe with the right role models we can stop making girls mean, by not feeding into the idea that there will always be mean girls.