Thursday, February 13, 2014

On Why Lindsay Lohan Will Always Mean A Lot To Me

I made Mr. E sit through Mean Girls again- partially because he swore up and down he'd never seen it and partially because The Constant Gardner wasn't doing it for me. This may not be the best movie, but I think it has it's place as more than just a teenage comedy, mostly because it reminds me that I am sometimes a Mean Girl.

Is that awful?

I think that's the beauty of the silver screen. In a day and age where we are increasingly impatient, we receive our information in computer generated portions. Here's THIS commercial, read THAT billboard, listen to THIS ad before your next crazy cat video. It's all packaged and gift-wrapped to have the most appeal to us, the biggest impact. In this, movies are king.

For a short amount of time we're transported from our routine drudgery to a reflection of our own world. It's prettier there (or dirtier, depending on what you're watching) and stories wrap themselves up neatly into picture perfect endings. The myriad of characters we meet in our own lives are portrayed by beautiful people, boiled down to stereotypes and ambiguous life choices. We watch the story and we fall in love, or out of love, or rage or laugh or cry as we see fit and in the end- in a perfect world- we all learn the lesson we can relate to and we are able to face our lives once more.

Thus, I'm able to say with complete confidence that I am a Mean Girl. I'm also a Nice Girl and an Outgoing Girl and a Shy Girl, but mostly I'm just a Complicated Girl which I think everyone else may be, too. I don't fit perfectly into that Mean Girl slot, but I think that was the point of the movie. It was fed to you with fluff and comedy and so many high school tropes I could DIE (over-exaggeration was definitely present), but the message is so profound I wish I could sit my own kids down to watch it every day.

Judging others doesn't make me any prettier. It doesn't make me any smarter or any more successful than they are, it just makes me a big old ball of negativity. Maybe that's common sense or maybe you learned that lesson years ago, but I'm imperfect and I think I need constant reminding.
Mean Girls GIF
Especially when I'm confronted with the opposite message every. single. day. Magazines, commercials, even blogs can't escape the compulsion to show that enviously perfect snapshot. We're shown trends and fashions and diets and lifestyles to aspire to, disregarding all of the complicated ways we live our unique, individual, perfectly imperfect lives.

I need reminding that those lives may be pretty or organized or on-time and work for those people, but that's not my life. It doesn't reflect me or my values or the things that I want in my life. And sometimes, it takes an hour and thirty-seven minutes of watching high-schoolers cat-fight on-screen with perfect hair days and endless legs to remember that.

I can be a Mean Girl, but that's not all I am, either.

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Mrs. E