stereotypes in mean girls

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Whether it’s a simple catch phrase like “She had a dumb blonde moment” or an oversimplification about immigrants from a third world country, stereotypes are commonly used throughout society. A stereotype is a “shared idea about the generalized attributes of others with respect to perceived physical or cultural characteristics” (1). Once a group is stereotyped by contradictory evidence, the group themselves tend to use their label for various purposes. In Stereotypes: Conceptual and Normative Considerations, author Judith Andre states that stereotypes function as becoming a part of one’s conceptual scheme or lifestyle, protects an individual’s self esteem, and are simple generalizations (Andre 94). These functions of stereotypes can be seen in teen comedy films such as Legally Blonde (2001) and Bring It On (2000), where the stereotypical beautiful, popular girl becomes completely taken over by the label her peers have given her. The most exemplary use of this stereotype in film is used in Tina Fey’s Mean Girls (2004). In Mean Girls (2004), the main characters are the Plastics, a group of four rich and perfect girls who use their popularity and good looks to rule over their North Shore High School hallways. The film highlights how stereotypes function, according to Andre, because the Plastics use their label as fundamental in their daily lives from what they wear, to who they talk to, they use it as a shield to protect themselves from the judgment of their peers, and finally are generalized by their qualities. When individuals are stereotyped by their society it becomes a part of their conceptual scheme, or point of view, effecting how they perceive and relate to others (2). In the film Mean Girls (2004), the high school students labeled the alpha group of girls “The Plastics” because of their perfect appearance,

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