Rigid Codes and Fitting in:
The codes for the way people are supposed to act or not act to fit in are epitomized in the Plastics. They are the model that all girls who want to fit in try to follow, and within their group they have strict codes that revolve mostly around what they wear and their appearance.
They have specific rules for when they can wear certain items of clothing, like sweatpants, and when they can wear their hair in a ponytail. They are supposed to talk about what is "wrong" with their bodies, and Cady gets a funny look when she doesn't come up with anything she can criticize about herself. They also have strict rules about boys they have dated and boys they like. The consequences for not fitting in are shown on Cady's first day when she doesn't immediately know how to play the Plastic's game and ends up eating lunch in the bathroom. Also, Janice is an example of what happens when one does not fit in. She was ridiculed publicly by Regina and ostracized from her old friends.
Brown and Simmons address many of the issues faced by the girls of Mean Girls. There are examples in the movie of what was talked about by the girls in the article about being assumed a lesbian for feeling a close bond with another girl, and about the popular girls in the school being hated, yet envied at the same time. One thing that the movie does not address at all is the reason for the girl's behavior. Brown and Simmons point the finger at America's patriarchal society, while the movie seems to be blaming the girls. Mean Girls seems to be saying that young women have instinctual patterns of behavior that revolve around jealousy over boys and physical appearance, instead of their being a greater reason for their learned behavior.
Role Models/Authority Figures:
During Cady's early years, her parents seem to have had the most influence on her. She appears close to her mother and father on her first day at school, and from the photographs they show of her in Africa, they seem to be her main authorities in her life. As Cady and her family shift to life in America, and she begins adjusting to the changes, Cady's math teacher becomes another important authority figure who tries to positively influence Cady's studies and encourages her to join the Math League.
Regina's mother is the example of what not to do as a mother. She tries to be the girls' best friend, and encourages her daughter's promiscuity and obsession with superficiality. Regina's attitude seems have been greatly influenced by her mother.