cliques

Mean Girls, Not In My House

While the movie is truly hysterical to watch (Mean Girls 2004), the theme is all too real for girls today and yesterday for that matter.  We are always trying to remain fashionable, wear nothing larger than a size 5-6 and have the right friends.  It’s unfortunate, but the reality is that many girls, to make sure that they feel good about their situation, will find someone worse off than them and make sure they know it. My daughter is only 4 years old, but as I watch her play on the playground at the park I can already see the beginnings of cliques forming.  The adorable little boy with the glasses swings alone, the girl with un-brushed hair tries desperately to make it pretty with her little fingers and still none of the kids go near her.  It’s sad to watch them draw these lines for themselves at such a young age but it’s worse when their parents do it for them.

Several months ago during a Mommy’s night out, a friend shared a story of how another parent had rudely snapped at her in the school parking lot.  After hearing the story I was appalled.  What gave this woman the right to snap at my friend for a reason that was none of her business?  I wanted so badly to never speak to her during pickup or let my daughter anywhere near her child again.

The next couple of times I saw her I found myself being short and abrupt, and then I realized what I was doing.  I was behaving like a child!  “You’re mean to my friend so I’m going to be mean to you”… what kind of example was I setting?  It wasn’t until a birthday party several weeks later that I found out her mother had been battling the final stages of breast cancer while she was working over seas for extended periods of time.  In fact, her mother had passed away only 2 days before.  I pray I never find out how I would behave if faced with a similar situation.

We all do the best we can for our children and for now I refuse to let my 4-year choose all of her friends.  My mother used to tell me “I can see farther than you,” and she was right.  When she’s older, I hope that her exposure to people of different colors, sizes, religions and economic backgrounds will give her the wisdom to surround herself with diverse friends.  The last thing I want to raise is a Mean Girl.

Seeing Beyond The Clothes

Remember all of those cliques back in High School?  Preppy, Cheerleader, snobby, popular, skater, and yes even the loose girls.  We could tell exactly what ‘group’ someone fit into simply by the clothes they wore.  Now, looking back, I wonder if those cliques really reflected who we were.  The best illustration I’ve ever seen how cliques might not be all their cracked up to be is in the Movie ‘The Breakfast Club.’  By the end of their day in detention, the self-proclaimed “Breakfast Club” realized a big reason they dressed or acted they way they did was to please someone else.  By just talking to people outside of their clique, the revelation was made that they all had the same struggles, questions and some likes.  It didn’t matter what clique they were in.  In that one day the “Breakfast Club” came into their own and were never the same. Though we may never have a transforming day like theirs, hopefully somewhere along the way we find we don’t have to fit into a clique at all.   We just have to be ourselves.  Today, I don’t feel a need to fit into a certain category.  People will either choose to like me or not.  Others may put me into a category that don’t fit me but you know what?  I don't care because I know who I am and my worth is much deeper than the clothes I wear.  My clothes reveal who I am on the inside and I like that girl!

The best thing I ever did while I was single was rip off all of those labels and figured out who I was on the inside – what were my likes, what styles or things was I drawn to.  By just adjusting my mind-set in that one area, it helped me understand what guys were, well, a little bit more worthy of me.  It also helped me be-friend girls that looked beyond what I was wearing.  I found my own Breakfast Club!

Clothes do say a lot, so make sure you are sending the right message.  Your clothes are an outward reflection of who you are on the inside, not a certain group.  So this spring as you hit the mall for the new Spring Fashions, take a look in the mirror first and ask if you still chasing ‘that group’ you think you want to be a part of.  I hope not because trust me, life get’s better in every area when you are true to yourself.  So don’t wait, see beyond the clothes now, while you are single.