Why Mean Girls is the Most Iconic 2000’s Movie

By: Tom Angell ’20

On Wednesday’s we wear pink. This famous line from the 2004 teen comedy Mean Girls is a line that is instantly recognizable for anyone in our generation. This movie with its early 2000s charm and pre-meltdown Lindsay Lohan. I could go on for pages about the literary references, the juicy drama within the movie, the memorable one liners, or the fact that it takes place in a high school and that as an education major I find that interesting. However, what is most important about this piece of cinematic brilliance is the fact it is the definition of an early 2000s period piece. One day after the fall of America, the civilization that arises from the ashes will find a box of how we as a society used to live, and within this box should be a copy of Mean Girls

As a history and secondary education major, I lean more towards the history side of me when I examine this movie. I am enthralled with the outfits, but especially the cell phones in this movie. These are two small things that any movie from the early 2000s also exhibits: cell phones and fashion. For the first time in the modern era phones take on a mobile quality and drama goes viral. Clothes are also a central to the movie as it is one of the many stressors within the movie. The plastics themselves define their lives by the outfits they wear each day of the week, outcasting anyone who doesn’t follow their rules.

These alone don’t give this movie enough to make it a classic. It is the one liners that we still quote 15 years later that everyone in our generation understands. “She doesn’t even go here” and “Wednesday’s we wear pink” are just two examples to mention. There is a certain unrelenting charm that goes beyond normal chick flick status that everyone can appreciate. Its these things that make Mean Girls such a period piece. 

One scene that always specifically strikes me is when they go to the mall. There is the part where all of the teenagers briefly turn into animals to fit an African anecdote Cady is going on about. Although it is a very small scene it encapsulates a similar time in the American conscience. The shopping mall occupies a distinct niche in my mind as being a part of the American culture within the early 2000s. Mean Girls is to mall culture as Oreo’s are to milk, and this small scene is the dunking of the Oreo. It was a simpler time and the drama filled, burn book writing Mean Girls of the early 2000s represented the way it was before the internet conglomerate took over every second of our lives. 

In closing Mean Girls is an amazing movie that if you haven’t watched, you need to. But next time you see this movie I challenge you to think about this movie as more than just some teen comedy drama with a once famous actress. Think of it as the movie of our generation that one day our grandchildren will watch and say to themselves, wow that’s how grandma and grandpa lived way back in 2004.

*Valley Girl Magazine does not own the rights to any of these images

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