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The Lifeline of the Stereotypical Teenage Female: 2000s Teen Flicks

Feminism is fetch.

Movies create a more perfect reality, and that’s why people (pre-covid) paid upwards of $15 to sit in a movie theater and forget about life for a few hours, with a cherry Icee in one hand and a tub of overly buttery popcorn in the other.

There’s something about the early 2000s teen movies that bring us a sense of nostalgia. They transport us to simpler times of middle school lockers, cherry-vanilla lip smackers, stained white Converse, and trading AirHeads at recess.

The reliable plotlines are comforting, especially at a time when so much feels uncertain. The main character is awakened by an alarm clock with the sun peaking through the curtains and Hoku’s “Perfect Day” in the background, then rushes downstairs to a delicious breakfast on the kitchen table with never quite enough time to eat! There’s no problem too messy or difficult that can’t be solved by the end of the second hour when the screen fades to black and the feel good song plays while the credits roll.

Today, the High School Musical trilogy seems to be the closest we have to a “classic,” but the DCOM is unable to deliver the angst and drama between musical numbers. Netflix has taken over teen movies, but Paramount and 20th Century Fox need to take them back. Kissing Booth and the To All the Boys I’ve Loved trilogy, do not come close to iconic movies like Mean Girls, John Tucker Must Die, and Clueless. But these classics are few and far between today. Why? Think about the stereotypes they portray.

Mean Girls

While the fashion and catch-phrases remain iconic, the stereotypes do not. Whether it’s who is labeled “popular,” “dumb blonde,” “geek,” “shy girl” who ditches the glasses, gets a makeover, and ultimately wins over “the jock”–these movies reinforce distinct gender roles and demeaning stereotypes, that we’re continuing to turn our backs against as a society.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love watching these iconic movies, but I can’t help but cringe at the way the women are portrayed - overly emotional, crazy, dumb, materialistic, obsessed with diets, guys and gossip.

In Mean Girls, “The Plastics” are the coolest clique in school, but they’re also unbearably cruel, unintelligent, and superficial. I know what you’re thinking:that