Mean Girls is considered a successful teen classic and THE movie that almost every high school girl can relate to. The film takes place at a fictional public high school called North Shore High School, which is located in Evanston, Illinois. The film became so successful that a Broadway musical and a novel were written based on the contents of this movie. But Mean Girls not only centers around what goes on in high school, but also shows viewers and fans the diversity among people, especially teenagers.
Regina George is considered to be the ultimate mean girl of the mean girls, as she is the leader of the popular girl clique, the Plastics. She looks like a stereotypical Barbie doll, with her tall height, her skinny figure, her fair skin, her blond hair and green eyes, and her penchant for wearing lip gloss. Her hobbies are centered around most hobbies of teenage girls: she likes shopping, wearing makeup, fashion, and the color pink. Regina has the ability to gain power because she is raised by her "cool mom" Mrs. George; she claims her mansion's master bedroom and wears a sexy Playboy bunny costume. But what makes Regina the ultimate mean girl is the Burn Book, a scrapbook she and her fellow Plastics, Karen and Gretchen, created where they share gossip, rumors and secrets about other students at school as well as teachers. In one scene where Regina distributes copies of the Burn Book pages in the school hallways and creates a massive fight among the other junior girls, Regina stands at the top of the staircase watching all the girls fight, representing how she has the most power throughout the school. Regina's character shows the viewers that they should not be easily fooled by a girl's beauty, charms and good looks since what really matters about a person is their personality traits.
Janis Ian is considered to be the unpopular girl at North Shore High, as other students are making jokes regarding her appearance. Her style and character are considered to be gothic. As she remains an outcast along with her best friend Damian, she is often teased by the mean girls, especially Regina. It is revealed in one scene where Regina confesses to Cady that she and Janis used to be best friends up until the eighth grade, where Janis wanted to leave the Plastics' inner circle. Regina once spread rumors that Janis was a lesbian, and that Janis had a crush on her. Other students get caught up in Regina's rumors, causing Janis to drop out of school and change herself into a goth. Despite this, Janis becomes a good friend to Cady, the new girl, as she helps her carry out her revenge plan to take down Regina. She is also an artist, as she painted a portrait depicting herself, Damian and Cady. Janis's character shows the viewers that despite being a goth, she has an inner beauty, as she shows what a true friend she is.
Damian is considered to be the funniest male character in the film, and a symbolic icon of defying gender stereotypes. His hobbies include wearing pink and taking high school choir. He is friends with Janis and Cady. Damian's character represents the idea that guys can have the same hobbies as girls; in a scene where Damian performs in the Winter Talent Show, singing a solo song, he isn't afraid to show his true talent in front of other guys despite being teased. This representation of defying gender stereotypes is not only applied to girls; guys also suffer the gender stereotypes in our society. Damian shows viewers that people should be allowed to do any activity regardless of gender.
Aaron Samuels is considered to be one of the hottest guys at North Shore High and is Cady's love interest. He is also Regina's ex-boyfriend. Because Regina uses him as one of her toys, Aaron is aware of how high school girls behave, specifically "mean girls." He is a senior and a player on the school's football and soccer teams, and he is in Cady's Calculus class. When Aaron breaks up with Regina as a result of being cheated on, he thinks of Cady as a "clone of Regina." This is noticeable when Cady invites him for a small get-together at her house that does not end well. Aaron dismisses Cady's attempts to impress him after Cady becomes Plastic. Aaron's character can be described as the typical "guy next door" character as all the girls at North Shore want to get his attention and have crushes on him. The way he forgives Cady during spring fling shows viewers that love is something that is found within, and that trust is the key to a good relationship.
Lastly, there's Cady Heron, the new girl of North Shore High. Cady's background is very interesting to the viewers, as her character at the beginning of the film shows us that she is immediately considered an "outcast." She is raised by her zoologist parents and spent most of her life in Africa, where she loved animals and nature. Since she isn't used to the social structure of North Shore High, Cady eats her lunch in a bathroom stall. Surprisingly, she gets accepted into the “The Plastics” and gains the attention of her crush, Aaron Samuels. Over the course of the film, as Cady plans to take down Regina, she eventually acts like the rest of “The Plastics", eventually becoming “queen bee”. What she doesn't realize, however, is her newfound popularity comes with a price; her "queen bee" status and "mean girl" attitude costs her her true friends and her parents' trust. This character transformation from outcast to Plastic to queen bee to outcast again shows viewers that while popularity may sound exciting, it also comes with a price. When Cady accepts responsibility for her actions and reconciles with the people she loves, the message she gives to viewers is to always be yourself, treat everyone with kindness, and to not talk about people behind their backs.
All of these main characters shown throughout the film have significant roles that viewers can relate to in their own high school experiences. Mean Girls captures every detail on what diversity is like in high school: that it's just like these main characters, high school students struggling to establish their own identities as they start to mingle with other peers in their age group.