Regina George is a …
I missed class last week and was finally able to catch myself up. I just watched the movie Mean Girls for the billionth time and it made me realize socialization literally happens in all sorts of situations.
In the movie, Cady has just returned to the US with her parents after a research trip in Africa. Cady enrolls in a public school for the first time and pretty much has to learn the rules of socialization in this new environment. Cady quickly becomes friends with Janis and Damien, who warn her about the Plastics — Regina George and her crew — who are the popular girls that everyone wants to be friends with. The Plastics are intrigued with Cady and her life and invite her to become a part of them. Seeing this as an opportunity, Janis and Damien convince Cady to continue to be friends with Regina to help take them down.
Throughout the movie, Cady is seen going through the steps of socialization. Anticipatory socialization can be seen when Janis and Damien “prep” Cady for her hangouts with the Plastics. They tell her everything about Regina George and how she’s the HBIC in the school. Cady also has to keep her friendships with Janis and Damien on the down low because a Plastic would never be seen with them. The encounter phase happens when Cady starts hanging out with the group more often. She quickly learns there are rules to being in the group — on Wednesday’s, they wear pink, no hooking up with friend’s ex boyfriends, etc. This phase is kind of stressful for Cady. She’s trying to learn how to come off as a real friend to Regina while also trying to appease her friendships with Janis and Damien. Eventually, Cady begins to kind of enjoy their company and because of this, Cady almost abandons her plan to help take down the Plastics. That all changes after Regina tells Cady she’s okay with her liking Aaron, Regina’s ex boyfriend, but ends up making out with him in front of Cady. Thus begins the final phase of socialization, metamorphosis. In order to get Aaron to notice her more, Cady increasingly becomes more like Regina. She starts talking, dressing, and acting like Regina, and she basically abandons her friendships with Janis and Damien — treating them exactly how Regina would. She even gets the other plastics, Gretchen and Karen to turn on Regina, effectively becoming the new HBIC.
Eventually, Cady sees the error of her ways and tries to make everything better. The Plastics fall apart and everyone ends up a lot happier.