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Safari to Plastics: the journey of Cady Heron

January 11, 2016

An outsider; someone who watches the world from the outside, but feels as though there are obstacles holding them back from being on the inside. Mean Girls, a movie that ties the real feelings of being an outsider and also relates to the teenage audience is not only iconic but also hilarious. This movie falls under the teen comedy genre and has some A-List actresses playing leading roles in the film. Celebrities like Rachel McAdams, Tina Fey, Lindsay Lohan and Amy Poehler all worked together in order to make this film that people to this day quote, copy and adore.  In the original movie Mean Girls,by Mark Waters, the producing team decided to set the stage of a high school girl finding her identity through a sea of stereotypical high school experiences and circumstances. The main character, played by Lindsay Lohan, perfectly plays the character of Cady Heron, the naive teen, who has lived in Africa her entire life and has never experienced typical American High school. She comes in thinking that she will make a seamless transition into high school life, but gets a rude awakening when she realizes that she is viewed as an outsider, lacking friends and a place to sit in the bustling lunchroom. As I said before, Lindsay Lohan’s character enters the movie as the new girl in school, not ever being thrown into an American teenage life. Making friends in American high school was a lot harder than making friends with the animals that she surrounded herself with in Africa. She decided that she wanted to bring the cool group in school down, by getting close to them and secretly drawing them apart. This group at school was an exclusive clique called the Plastics. This group is perfectly named due to their fake exteriors and also because none of the girls have any substance to them; they’re plastic inside. However, what begins to happen is that the more that Cady hangs out with this group, the more she becomes just like them. The aspects and characteristics that once made her unique and a good person were quickly fading as she got caught up with being one of the plastics. Her grades began to slip, she starts to act out at school and at home, and lastly, she begins to ruin all of the real relationships that she had made before becoming a plastic. At the end of the movie, she realizes that the way she had been acting was wrong and began to revert back to the old girl that everyone liked for who she was. In the last few scenes of the film, Cady is given the title of prom queen, where she does the iconic, “it’s just plastic anyways” monologue while breaking the plastic prom queen crown into pieces while tossing the pieces to girls in the audience. This scene is the perfect depiction of the end of the plastics, and is an example of how all high school girls should act, being open minded and nice to everyone they come into contact with. Of course, this movie exaggerates lots of topics that are prevalent in high school life today, yet the lessons that they teach are still important and prevalent today. Like I stated earlier, this movie is an absolute timeless film, that even way into the future will still make everyone laugh while teaching the lesson of how to survive high school.
    The most compelling scene in the movie for me was when the plastics were performing at the school talent show, where they did a provocative rendition of the christmas classic, jingle bell rock. This scene was my favorite scene because Cady at this point was fully in the plastics, yet a glimpse of the real Cady shown through. When one of the plastics, Gretchen Weiners, kicked the boom box off the stage, leaving the girls without the music, cady rose to the occasion by singing the rest of the song. Everyone in the audience joined together in unison to help Cady and the rest of the plastics complete their performance. During this scene, the audience could notice the shy timid yet confident girl make an appearance by helping her friends out by singing the rest of the song. The movie did a really good job of keeping my attention throughout the entirety of the film which means a lot, because I usually cannot sit long enough to complete a movie and really involve myself within the scenes. I would absolutely recommend this movie to anyone who either loves teen comedies, focused on high school stereotypes, or even anyone who is in highschool and just wants a good laugh. The movie is provocative and a little inappropriate in some scenes but in the end, it all comes together to teach the underlying lesson of how to survive high school while being true to yourself and being a good person through it all. Even though it is a comedy, there is a lot to learn from this film and really hits home for lots of high school girls throughout the world.


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