Have you ever seen the movie mean girls? Well I have, repeatedly. I guess it strikes a chord in me. The film dives into the in’s and out’s of how certain girls will premeditate their plan of attack on their victim, and many times they do it so well, their deception looks innocent. While there are several underlying factors as to why these “mean girls” operate in the ways they do, the issue is a rampant one in society, especially ours.
I wanted to write about the subject of “mean girls”; since we have all encountered them and maybe have been them. While we start off pure and well intended in life, which I truly believe is the essence of each of us, hurt sets in at an early age when difficult events happen without repair. Sometimes they come in the form of negative behaviors that get modeled to us when we are young that we then emulate. From this place, trauma is born and translates into unhealthy behaviors. We see it with our daughters starting in early childhood, when that very unkind act inflicted gains momentum and becomes well-cultivated cruelty. As I said, I do believe in inherent goodness, but I see without question that hurt people, hurt people. Another word for this is called projection, and I see how this begins so very early in life, and spirals. We are all capable of meanness, and surely have not always come from kindness, but perpetuating and projecting hurt on others is something that continues to grow if it is not healed, or in the short term, stopped.
I am not here to tell you that my daughters are immune to being unkind, because they are not, but because I have endured much hurt from other girls and women, blatantly and subtly in my life, I have zero tolerance for it with my daughters and surely never from myself. I refuse to feed the beast and refuse to join in that pain, no matter how much I may hurt, for myself, or my daughters. There is no excuse to hurt another person because they trigger something negative in you. This behavior just perpetuates the sickness.
I am a proponent of healing and strength, and this must be worked on and practiced diligently. I have learned that it takes hard work to be a healthy person. I feel it is important to empower our young girls to stand tall and recognize these “mean girls,” seeing that they are really “hurt girls”, allowing their hurt to spill out onto others. Sadly, this hurt expresses itself in tricky ways, anything from choosing someone to be the brunt of jokes, to atrociously cruel behavior. Unfortunately, with social media, cell phones and the Internet, there are many more ways that people can be hurtful. The opportunities to hurt with our technological advancements are at an all time high.
Documented cruelty is incredibly dangerous and lasting. In the movie, the “mean girls” created a book called the Burn Book, where they documented the cruelest accounts of a person, some true, some falsified, and all beyond mean. I see the same happening today and it saddens me in the deepest places because of the awareness that I carry that not all girls/women can brush off such unkindness so easily. One never knows how tender a person’s heart is or if they struggle with resilience. While I have heard excuses from others parents or from grown women for their poor behavior, blaming it on exhaustion, misunderstanding, sadness, their childhood, etc. there is no excuse. Not ever. We are fully responsible for ourselves and how we show up at every turn. If we don’t carry this awareness, guess who is watching ever so carefully? Our daughters. Talk is cheap and actions are everything. Mean girls turn into mean women, and so it goes…
I am committed to anchoring in an “Anti Mean Girl” movement, promoting strength, integrity and kindness. This is not easy in a world so fractured, but if we bond together and hold each other accountable for our unintended mean girl moments, we can all move higher and model true beauty to our daughters, and well, the world. When I focus on my faith, my charity work, my music and even my writings, I move higher and more deeply into my heart, and that is a place where Mean Girls don’t stand a chance. If I am to leave a legacy, let it be that I was always kind.
Here’s to the Anti Mean Girl Movement, may you live it and let it nurture you and your precious daughters in the most fierce and tender of ways.