Mean Girls, Mean Women

Last week, we observed my daughter’s first “Mean Girl” encounter at ballet (aptly timed with Mean Girls Day, for those of us who are fans of the film). While we took the approach of stepping back and letting four-year-old Brooke navigate the experience on her own, I did think to myself – “here we go, for the next 85 years of her life…” because, as many of us know firsthand, mean girls turn into mean women. And social media has not helped

I thought about competitive women at work, who make many projects that much harder by not being collaborative. I thought about the judgmental message I received recently via Instagram, clearly intended to be sent to someone, about me that was accidentally sent to me. I thought about a grandmother I know, whose feelings were recently hurt by a long-time friend kicking her to the curb. I thought about the cliquey women in many situations, who find comfort in knowing they’ve boxed others out, so they can feel they’ve risen to the top. I mean, raise your hand if you have ever been personally victimized by Regina George.

I still don’t have a solution to dealing with these girls and women. Over the years I’ve avoided them, I’ve approached them about it – Hell, in high school, I even took one mean girl out to lunch after she had basically cyber-bullied me (1999-style) because I figured if she really knew me, she wouldn’t have such ill will toward me. But even if you manage to get through to someone, there’s always another mean girl to encounter.

As we all know, it’s not even about you– it’s about them, and that becomes that much more obvious – and sad – as we get older. So the best advice I can dish? YOU. DO. YOU. Be kind, be inclusive, be generous, have fun, tell your friends how much you love them, stay fetch, and wear pink on Wednesdays.