Assumptions About Popularity

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The hit movie, “Mean Girls,” sets the tone for what it takes to be popular in today’s high schools. In the film, the pre-conceived perceptions about popularity frames the movie into having the popular girls having possession of “expressive equipment” (i.e. attractiveness, spending power), engaging in highly visible activities, and being socially aggressive. These traits about what it takes to be popular were found in the scholarly article, “Children’s Social Constructions about Popularity”. Furthermore, Deborah Tannen’s article about “marked” women sheds more light on the popularity frame because the girls are purposely making decisions about themselves that present them as popular, nerdy, or even “sluttish.” There are three scenes that demonstrate this claim well and the perception of popularity and its traits are explained well in the scholarly journal. The first scene takes place during the annual winter talent show that the high school has. The whole student body is attending and four of the main characters are up on stage performing their talent. The four characters are all female and it is known and obvious that these girls are the most popular in their grade. They are dressed in scantily clad Christmas attire and singing a song. Their talent is a success and during the scene, the girls hold the entire audience’s attention as if the audience is in awe of them. In this scene, the frame of being popular is evident. The girls are popular because of the fact that this talent show provides them an opportunity to become very visible, and the fact that they are dressed in attire where the male portion of the audience can’t take their eyes off of them. By watching this scene, one could assume that according to this movie, popular girls have to be highly visible and attractive. Deborah Tannen states that women are judged by people based on the physical

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