Monday, January 28, 2013

Can Mean Girls be Beautiful?

  I want to say right off the bat, none of the girls in these pictures are mean girls.  They have their mean moments, but they are mostly very sweet.  We had the girls out on a photo shoot to model those adorable little skirts, handmade by our friend at The Whimsical Peanut.  

    I have heard three different stories about mean girls just this week, and they've made me sad.

  The first story is from a little friend who is in elementary school.  She was invited to a birthday party and then excluded from the group.  

  The second is from a college student, who is frequently experiencing uncaring and dismissive attitudes from her dorm mates.  

  The third is from a grown up woman who feels left out and not good enough to hang out with her husband's coworker's wives, because those wives have not made an effort to get to know her.

  Three age groups, three sets of mean girls.  

  But really, are they mean?  I said above that our little Whimsical Peanut models are not mean girls, but they do have mean moments. We all do.  We all know women who seem like mean girls...we dread being around them, we know they are going to say some rude thing or, maybe worse, ignore us.  

  I am definitely not excusing mean behavior.  When I heard about those little girls ignoring my beautiful young friend I got fired up!  That girl is funny and quirky and charismatic and wonderful, and how any other person could exclude her from anything amazes me!  

  When my college friend told me about the problems she's having with her dorm mates, I could see the hurt in her eyes and hear the disappointment in her voice.  I wanted to go to the dorm with her and wag my finger in their mean faces and threaten to call their mothers.  

  And my friend who is feeling left out in social gatherings?  She IS the life of the party, and if those mean girls would give her a chance she'd wow them.  I want to go with her to the next thing and just tell them all to SHUT UP and let her sparkle!  

  But maybe, when we encounter mean girls, we should take a different approach.

    More likely, those mean girls are actually Beautiful Girls who are having mean moments.  Just like me and you.  

  The best thing I can think to do is to show them grace.  And to worry about ourselves.  How close together are MY mean moments?  Are there women I am excluding?  Do I notice when another woman is hurting, when she's needing something?  

  The best way to combat a mean girl is to not be a mean girl myself.  And if we ALL watch our mean moments, and make sure to keep our mean moments away from others, there won't be any mean girls left!  We'll all be beautiful.  

  How about you?  Have you ever felt excluded, ignored, ridiculed by a mean girl?  How did you handle it?