Monday, February 27, 2017

The End Justifies The Means

Many chick flicks and romance movies that were produced from the early 2000’s to around the turn of decade portrayed women to be stereotypical. One of the more classic chick flicks, Mean Girls, was released in 2004. Many people view it as a comedic, funny movie; while this may be true, I think the movie has caused a lot of controversy due to the way women are portrayed in the movie. Mean Girls, directed by Mark Waters, is about a teenage girl named Cady Heron who was home-schooled in Africa by her zoologist parents before moving back to the United States. When her family moves to Evanston, Illinois, she is thrown into the seemingly overwhelming transition of being homeschooled to hectic public school atmosphere. Cady starts to notice the cruel hierarchical ways of popularity that divide her fellow students into tightly knit cliques. She unwittingly finds herself in the good graces of an elite group of cool students called the plastics. This Movie reflects ideologies of a patriarchal society because it shows that women should conform to men’s wants and also supports the idea of having the ‘perfect’ body standards to please men, which is all very evident throughout the entirety of this movie. This movie is one of the most popular movies of the 21st century and the effects of that contributes to the formation of stereotypes, like the ideal body shape and relationships with women and men.

The movie Mean girls supports the stereotype that women should do anything for the man they like, including change themselves. This is very obvious throughout the movie as Cady and Regina George, the leader of her adopted friend group “the plastics”, go toe to toe for most of the movie over, Aaron Samuels, Regina’s ex-boyfriend. When Cady first meets Aaron she immediately develops a crush on him, Cady tells the plastics (Gretchen & Karen) about her crush on Aaron and they both inform her of how Aaron is Regina’s ex-boyfriend and is declared 100% off limits for anyone but Regina. Even though she was told he’s off limits she still tries to do whatever she can to get Aaron, even turning on Regina. A prime example of her doing whatever necessary is telling Regina about these Polish Nutrition bars that make you “skinnier” and giving them to her. While in reality, these Nutrition bars are specifically made for people who want to gain weight the only thing that stops Regina from reading the label, is the fact that it is in polish. So Regina takes Cady’s word and eats them, thinking she would lose weight, but in reality she slowly gains a few pounds. Cady’s goal by giving her these bars was to get Aaron to stop thinking Regina is attractive which would make Regina lose her popularity thus giving Cady no competition. Cady also throws a party going against her parents words and breaking their trust for the goal of hooking up with Aaron, which was unsuccessful, and ends up pushing him away. Her attempts to win over a man and please him, not only led her to turn against one of her friends, but also defying her parents in an unsuccessful attempt to get closer with Aaron. These examples in the movie spread the subliminal message that going to extremes and risking other things in life is ok if it is to please a man, which is the wrong message to be spreading and has consequences in society.

My argument applies to my piece of culture because it shows how the movie enforced the stereotype of how the man should come first. It teaches women that changing who they are to get a man is acceptable even if theirs or others images are tarnished in the process. I have seen in my life people who have changed how they act to please someone they liked a lot.

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