- Is the source or an added conflict to the story.
- Usually has minions of some sort.
- Tends to be a cheerleader.
- Blonde...although I have known them to be another hair color.
- For whatever reason, picks the protagonist out of the crowd to be the meanest to. Past together, feels threatened, sees weakness; take your pick.
- Known to be wealthy.
What I'm also wondering is if the popular girl wants to create drama and make the protagonist's life miserable AND they have a past together...what's the point? It usually seems that the storyline is that they used to be best friends until the mean girl becomes popular and shuns her old best friend. So then they magically become archenemies? Did the protagonist DO something that they are oblivious to or purposefully excluding out? Seriously. What. Is. The. POINT?!
A mean girl stereotype is not a mean girl at all if she does not have her little friend accessories. She will have minions or airheads or the mean girl assistant right by her side...but a little behind (to not take away any spotlight, of course). These friends are her personal accessories and the protagonist better watch out. The minions will either cheer on their leader, laugh at the protagonist's fallings, or help create some evil plot. So my question is, what's up with the mean friends? I'm guessing they are drone-like because if they were as mean as our stereotype, they would be fighting for leadership. What about being equals?
Oh, a cheerleader is not only popular, but always set out to be a mindless meanie. In this case, the cheerleader's favorite accessory would be her jock boyfriend. I really can't tell you how this creates the most frustration with me. I'm not, never have or will be, a cheerleader. However, I know cheerleaders and they are some of the nicest people I have ever met. Cheerleaders are not all bad, you know. This actually coincides with what I think about the first point. WHY a cheerleader? Why not a geek or a normal student?
Blonde conveys a message of being an airhead along with being the mean top dog all at once. Or at least, that's what the authors seem to always want us to think. No, they're not an airhead when it comes to planning torture on our beloved protagonist, but the main character seems to mock their intelligence. Probably because the blonde is a fit cheerleader and they're jealous. Of course, this point is laughable since my best friend is blonde and I seriously have to encourage her to SPEAK UP because she can't be Ms. Nice Girl all the time. So many blondes out there are not airheads or mean or anything else except...human.
You can't be a popular blonde cheerleader with minions without being wealthy because that makes you cool. I mean, one of the reasons she is popular is probably the fact that she (or really, her parents) are loaded. Sometimes her friends are moochers while the rest of the school loves her parties. This really comes in handy when the protagonist is poor and the mean girl can tease or mock her and the protagonist can be all whiny. Poor people are bullies too!
So if you haven't caught on yet, I am against and so over this trend/stereotype. Let's have some change! If a "mean girl" needs to be presented in the novel, I strongly suggest to maybe change it up and not have your mean girl be the stereotype. Imagination, it's a wonderful thing. If I read a book that's just "eh" for me, but has a non-stereotypical mean girl like a geek or *gasp!* normal girl, I will probably give it a bonus point just for not bringing in the stereotype.
Now once again, being a lover of discussion posts, I would really love to hear your thoughts on it below!
What do you think about this stereotype? Does it annoy you? What's another typical attribute that's included with this stereotype?