Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Frenemies, Enemends, and Fraitors

One of my favorite "message" movies is Mean Girls. One exchange between characters in the movie always gets to me:

Regina: We do not have a clique problem at this school.

Gretchen: But you do have to watch out for "frenemies".

Regina: What are "frenemies"?

Gretchen: Frenemies are enemies who act like friends. We call them "frenemies".

Karen: Or "enemends".

Gretchen: Or friends who secretly hate you, we call them "fraitors".

Karen: [gasps] What if we called them "mean-em-aitors"?

Regina: [scoffs]

Gretchen: No, honey, it has to have the word "friend" in it.

Karen : Oh...

After raising two sons (easy), I am now down to the last child who happens to be a daughter (harder). Whenever my sons got into disagreements with their friends, I was amazed to watch them work out any issues pretty much instantaneously! Girls, on the other hand, often hold grudges, trash talk each other, and try to get others to join in on the bashing!

I cannot count the number of times I have talked with young women who are struggling with mean girls. I pretty much want to cry while trying to counsel these girls but am usually so disgusted with my fellow females, that I am too mad to cry. I have ALWAYS encouraged my sons AND daughter to be nice to EVERYONE. It is a HUGE pet peeve of mine when individuals think they are BETTER than others.

I've been W&W (Wealthy and on Welfare) various times throughout my life. I remember what it was like to be a middle school student who only had one pair of pants and two shirts to wear to school. I remember having to raise my two younger sisters because my divorced mother HAD to work nights. I also remember my grade school days in Catholic school where we had school uniforms. Even though we all looked pretty much the same, I remember some girls noticing things like shoes or hair accessories to try to figure out who was "cool" and who wasn't.

Why are girls mean and fake to each other? It's so sad that girls feel the need to tear each other down. It's sad that girls aren't supportive of each other. It's depressing that girls enable guys to be rude to girls by their acceptance of being rude to each other themselves.

We should celebrate the good qualities of our peers: Some girls are book smart, some attractive, some fun, some nice, some shy, some athletic, some sweet, some wise, some outgoing, some spiritual, some witty, some good listeners, and some are kind. These qualities (or spiritual gifts as I like to refer to them as), make each girl UNIQUE.

The overall message of the movie Mean Girls isn't "don't gossip" or to just "be nice." The real message of the movie is "celebrate your uniqueness."

Come on girls! Don't get caught up in the mean girl drama! Celebrate your uniqueness! Take the opportunity TODAY to apologize to a fellow female that you have been MEAN to. If you are anything like me, there will come a time when you will need all the women friends you can get who will support and love you!


PamJorg said...

You go girl! You're awesome! Love your hair! That outfit is soooooo cute! I love your little nose! Have you lost weight? You're not that old! Your kids are great! You're so fun to be with! My kids think you're a great Aunt! Wanna have lunch?

NYCmom said...

I nominate Cheryl as General Young Woman President...or at least you should give that talk at conference! :) It's so sad that all of that is so true. I'm so scared to have teenage girls...TWO teenage girls. UGH!

Cheryl J. said...

LOL Pam :-)You've never been mean to me so you don't have to be EXTRA NICE haha.

I just keep hearing things over and over from young girls about mean girl stuff.

Yeah Jen...good luck ;-) It's tricky I tell ya!

Cheryl J. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sarah said...

Amen CHeryl -- my girl drama is just beginning and I am SCARED. I am with you. I have a plaque on my piano that states: BE NICE. That is my logo -- to my kids and to others. Loved your post.

Cheryl J. said...

Thanks Sarah!!! :-) (and good luck!)

angeric4 said...

Wow. Well said and I couldn't agree more. We have always emphasized to be NICE to everyone and so far my girls follow that advice. They have found that sometimes one has to stand alone when doing so. Being a girl is hard at times and so is being a parent. Occasionally I want to tell my girls to "give it right back to the offender" but I know it is more admirable to take the high road and I have to admit that at times my girls are more Christ like than me. Love ya, ANG

Kim said...

Cheryl of course I have an opinion......
Kick the Mean Girls ASS!Have you ever met a reformed mean girl?

.... the girls talking about the mean girls... are the mean girls too. ;)