Post by Cassandra S.
Image found on Pixabay.
In teen movies we so often see many stereotypical characters that are always categorized in stereotypical cliques with stereotypical angst adolescent drama overtaking their lives. These movies have been an entertaining jackpot of incorrectly portrayed people for years and the truth is, no high school is actually like that. . The schools in these movies are completely segregated into exclusive groups. In real life no one is limited to their own friend group. People can talk to whoever is in their classes with them. I am not saying that there is no groups or “cliques” in high school, because there groups of favored friends with common interests but they are not as exclusively as they are shown to be in these movies. With this in mind I would like to divulge some of the myths are so very prevalent in teen movies.
What makes one of these “teen movies”?
Well for starters I don’t mean just any movies targeted at a teenage audience, I am referring to movies that surround some overdramatically complicated teenagers life. Usually this main character happens to be a young teenage girl going through a tough time. Movies like Easy A, which made $58,401,464, or Mean girls which made $86,058,055 in 2004 when it came out, or even the brand new movie The DUFF which has made $33,896,230 so far in the box office according to Box Office Mojo. The movies themselves even comment on how overused this material is. Easy A, in one of its very first lines says,“pretty cutting edge stuff huh, a high school girl feeling anonymous. Who am I? What does it all mean? Why am I here? ah”. Even though this particular movie immediately states that this is cliche story, the teen population still eats this overdramatic not so realistic stuff up.
The “Mean Girl”
The number one most common myth that surrounds the high school experience is the “mean girl” and or the arch nemesis. These two are almost always associated with each other and often are the main cause of drama in these movies. As seen in the movie Mean Girls, an aptly named movie that, according to IMDb the movie review website, covers the very theatrical life of main character Cady Heron as she enters a public high school where things are not exactly what she expected. The very first day that she is in this brand new school she is approached by “the plastics” who are according to Script-O-Rama are “teen royalty”. This story sets Regina George as the mean girl.
In the film Janis Ian, one of Cady’s new friends, explains Regina in the her own words, “Evil takes a human form in Regina George. Don’t be fooled she may seem like your typical selfish, back-stabbing, [swear word], [swear word]. She is so much more than that. She’s the queen bee. The star. Those other two are just her little workers. Regina George. How do I even begin to explain Regina George? Regina George is flawless. She has two Fendi purses and a silver Lexus. One time, she met John Stamos on a plane. And he told her she was pretty. One time she punched me in the face. It was awesome. She always looks fierce. She always wins Spring Fling Queen”(Script-O-Rama). See this video on youtube.
This is a classic example of the stereotypical “mean girl”, portrayed as an evil self obsessed, rich girl. However the truth is that no one on this earth in their high school years is that self conceited. There is no way that anyone in any school in any state would do the sort of things that these movies promote. They make it seem as if girl in high school all follow one horrible girl who is the complete opposite of what real people are like.
The Categorized Lunch Room
Another totally over dramatic exaggeration of what happens in a high school cafeteria in real life. Sure in real life we do sit with our friends but there is not specific tables that one individually categorized group sit at. Using the movie Mean Girls for reference again, there is a scene so dedicated to the designation of these set groups that one of the characters actually draws it out for the new girl, Cady.
“Where you sit in the cafeteria is crucial because you got everybody there. You got your Freshmen, ROTC jocks, preps, JV jocks, asian nerds, cool asians, unfriendly black hotties, girls who eat their feelings, girls who don’t eat anything, desperate wannabes, burnouts, sexually active band geeks, the greatest people you will ever meet (the art freaks), and the worst. Beware of the plastics” (Script-O-Rama). See this video on youtube.
In reality there is not specific table for, people who are in JV sports, or people who are in band. Sure these people often sit together because they have common interest, but they don’t kick people off their table if they are not like them. That sort of thing is a complete myth.
The Horribly Inappropriate and Unrealistic School Faculty
The third teen movie myth I would like to cover is concerning the school staff of these movies. There is a multitude of bad people out there but these people are usually not employed at a school. In these movies there is frequently a corrupt teacher involved in the shenanigans that conspire through the course of said movie. However rationally high schools don’t just hire anyone looking for a job they actually look into the people they employ. In the movie Easy A both Principle Gibbins and the counselor Mrs. Griffith are completely inappropriate and in reality would have been fired for comments made during the movie.
Principle Gibbins for example says, “If I can keep girls off the pole, and the boys off the pipe, I get a bonus.” Found in Easy A. See this scene on youtube.
This comment would have most definitely gotten him fired if Olive had told her parents about it. He is the principle of a high school there is no way in real life he, or any high school principal would say anything even remotely like this. And Mrs. Griffith she, in the movie, is sleeping with a student then proceeds to blame his STI on Olive to try and keep her job. Reality check no high school counselor would sleep with a student that is pretty much firing herself on the spot! Truthfully no teacher in their right mind would do the things that these movies have them do with ease, it just wouldn’t happen like that.
A Lunch in The Bathroom, Courtesy of embarrassment
In my personal opinions this is the stupidest myth of all. When have you ever seen, heard of, or even thought of someone eating in a disgusting public bathroom? No one in their right mind would eat in that germ infested place. But this happens to be another common teen movie myth.
In Mean Girls Cady Heron eats in the bathroom because she is too embarrassed to sit with anyone at lunch. Seriously she could have just sat down somewhere. Really the Floor would have been a better choice that the bathroom. And in real life an entire school wouldn’t just turn on one student and not allow them to sit down. Realistically at least one student in the lunch room would have asked if they wanted to sit with them, even if it would be out of pity.
Also I mention again that lunchrooms in real life are nothing like in the movies, many people don’t mind if others sit with them, they just might ignore them, it would still be better than a public bathroom stall.
Image from Mean Girls, found on blogspot.com
Finally, The Perfect Guy Falling for the Underdog Girl.
This cliche seems to be the closing scene for every good chick flick or teen movie. The story almost always has to do with getting the perfect boy to like them. this is exemplified in a multitude of movie including Mean Girls, Easy A, The DUFF, A Cinderella Story, Shes The Man, and so on and so forth. However the truth about high school is as much as people think that everyone is obsessed with falling in love when they are in high school, they really aren’t.
People don’t spend their days just sitting around trying to figure out how to get someone to like them. Sure they will think about it, but they almost never go to the lengths that these movies seem to promote. Also the guys in these movies seem to always be completely clueless when it comes to the main character’s feelings toward them. I am pretty sure no guy is as oblivious as the people in these movies. Realistically no person in high school commits that much effort into a relationship that could never happen. In these movies the girl doesn’t even know if the guy likes her but she is willing to go all in for him. That just wouldn’t happen in real life.
Image from A Cinderella Story, found at Fanpop.