Every now and again I go on a genre tear. I’ll flood my eye balls with Wes Craven “bloody topless virgin final girl” films or comfortably numb by brain with all 257 Fast and Furious movies. But there is no time that I’m not in the mood for chick flicks. Ever since my mom dragged me to see Mean Girls when I was 14, no other movie genre shaped or influenced me well into my semi-functional adulthood.
But before I was getting army pants and flip flops because I saw Cady Heron wearing army pants and flip flops, I was thinking about whether I’d be able to use legal jargon in everyday conversation like Elle Wood’s, would I kick ass in a bandage dress like Gracie “Lou Freebush” Hart, or be as good as a friend even while riding the crimson wave as Cher Horowitz. Go on Instagram for two scroll flicks and try me if you don’t trip over a meme or a caption or a tee shirt referencing a chick flick from the good ole 90s/00s. As cliche and basic as they can be, don’t lie to my face that these slumber party staples didn’t seal how you date, make goals, interact with your gal pals, or choose like grabbing Instagram captions.
Chick flick main character archetypes are basically “the popular blonde has a brain and is more than her hair, boobs, and wardrobe!?!?!?” and “golly gee that brunette is actually pretty when she takes off her glasses and un-clips her hair in slow motion”. But like…I love that. We all needed that, especially when prior generations had Sandy channeling her inner leather daddy to impress Danny, even though he’s a weirdo narcissist chain smoking 16 year old. And Rizzo, the OG head bitch, was painted as some slutty villain even though the worst thing she did was sing a song about how annoyingly innocent Sandy was. Hardly a Burn Book.
“That’s just like…the rules of feminism” – Gretchen Wieners
Raise your hand if you have ever been personally victimized by this movie. Yes my mom did drag me to see it. In my defense, the only info I was given is that it’s loosely based off the book Queen Bees and Wanna Bees. So, I naturally assumed it would be a sad documentary used to teach me that yes, high school will be as bad as middle school and catholic school. So buckle up those low-rise boot cut American Eagle jeans ’til college, kiddo. Then you can wear black lipstick like you’ve always dreamed; and boys that have that crunchy bleached tipped hair will like-like you, because it’s 2004 and you don’t know what the fuck you want.
Unlike Cady (LiLo, we miss you, we love you, we need you…to explain your new accent) the only thing that totally shocked me was the concept of sexually active band nerds. Because only the popular kids hook up right? Oh, no no no my sweet clarinet. Those step-in-time squirrels were getting a crash course in anatomy in the back of the away bus. Annnnnyyyyyywhhoo.
And when I say nothing shocked me I mean that for the previous 2 years in middle school, the cool girls would all wear their matching Old Navy zip ups on the same day. In high school, God forbid you wear Converse All Stars and not even know who the Ramones are. I definitely remember whose mom wan’t a “regular mom”. Hell even the “cool Asians” were a thing.
In light of all the super jacked up things I remember, what I remember most is how much I changed from summer to fall before freshman year. I shed some baby fat, learned how to use a straightener and that eye liner isn’t just for your lower waterline. And as we saw from Cady (seriously LiLo…when did you bump English to your second language?) all that an push up bra can seriously change your self image.
The Instagram caption: “Stop trying to make fetch happen!!” We mostly use this movie to call each other out on cunty bullshit and LOL at all the bullshit we all *mostly* grew out of.
“Whoever said orange is the new pink was seriously disturbed!” – Elle Woods
I rule this one a game changer. I was fully aware of what I was getting into with this movie and was so freaking excited. Even when I was 12 I loved the idea of bucking expectation. I loved a pretty blonde showing everyone that she was capable and standing up for herself even when her scummy prof straight up solicits her.
Here is the best fucking part though: For all the snap judgement, she never doubts her own abilities. She wants a thing, she does what’s required to get the thing. She watches CNN and reads her texts book while getting her cardio in. She chooses the types of friends that support her when she has to study for the LSATs during Greek Week. She outsmarts the cunty shop girls when they try to trick into paying full price for a dress that was for sure in last year’s June Vogue. Why? Because Elle Woods knows her shit.
Speaking of the boutique scene…12 year old me was like “Okay, this bitch does her home work”. I was genuinely impressed…and relieved. I would flip through my scary Russian piano teacher’s Bazaars and Vogues getting to know models and designers by name. I wanted to be fabulous for knowing the Pantone colors for 2002 and for being able to memorize a handful of concertos. Until Elle stomped her little last season Prada shoes, I thought I had to choose.
As a semi-fully functioning adult, this has translated to debating the pros and cons of permanent eyelash extensions then getting back to my online class so I’d know how to properly palpate a fundus on my first day of labor and delivery. Very much because of characters like Elle Woods, Millennial woman def embody the phrase “Get you a girl that can do both”.
Elle is never presented to us as dumb. We’re in on the joke. She has a different value system than the stuffy fuckers around her and for that, they don’t take her seriously. Instead of letting that set her back, she rises to the occasion. Unfortunately, that’s a battle us chicks know all too well.
The Instagram Caption: “What? Like it’s hard?” We use this movie to remind ourselves (and the haters) not to let the underestimation of small minded assholes get in our way. And when we push by them, we do so with a smile and a hair flip in a pair of our favorite shoes.
Next time I’ll over analyze Miss Congeniality and Clueless. Promises to my 5 subscribers that I won’t go another 5 months or whatever until another entry.
Stay fab. Stay weird.