I was in fifth grade the first time someone told me I gave off the bad girl vibe. Hold your laughter, please. Clearly, a 10-year-old cannot even fathom what being a true bad girl means, but let me tell you, I was elated.
I had no interest in being the good girl, the sweetheart or mommy's little angel.
I wanted to be known as a little dangerous, a lot reckless and I definitely wanted to be feared. Perhaps this was when I took the first step toward becoming a high school mean girl.
Nobody likes these girls; they’re the ones who define resting bitch face, never have a kind word to spare and treat people like they‘re more disposable than their fathers' endless income.
Oh, how I wanted to be one of those girls — so, that’s who I became. Regina George from "Mean Girls," Blair from "Gossip Girl" and even Kate from "Lizzie McGuire" are perfection personified, at least according to society. Pop-culture drills this message in from an early age: Nothing feels as good as being bad.
So, there I was: 5'4" of venom, drunk on the power of having people tell me I was intimidating. I was not alone and I was not the worst, but I didn’t need to be.
For what it’s worth, being the high school bitch is not all it’s cracked up to be. While my best friend was, and to this day is still, often compared to sunshine, I was regarded as a storm cloud. Not that a few negative words could stop me — I always got my way.
My friends would come to me in tears and I knew I could fix anything with a few strongly-worded texts. And I did, on more than one occasion.
Well, I finally got a wakeup call one day when someone I held in high esteem turned to me and said, “You know, if anyone ever said to me what you said to that girl, I’d probably kill myself.”
I may have flipped my hair and acted nonchalant in that moment, but I swear nothing had ever made me feel lower in my life. Five years later and my stomach still turns at the thought.
I’d love to tell you that since then, I’ve completely changed my ways, but that’d be a bold-faced lie. While I no longer prey on the innocent to fuel my ego, I still have my moments.
I’ll get really angry, feel that familiar white-hot rush of angry adrenaline and say really horrendous things that shock even me.
I blame new media, which rarely portrays the true villain as the villain. Instead of regarding mean girls as what they truly are, we sexualize them and blow them up to be godly, unattainable creatures we can strive to mimic but can never become.
Don’t tell me you wouldn’t love to be Jessica Rabbit or Catwoman. I won’t believe you.
Even though Lindsay Lohan was the protagonist in "Mean Girls," we didn’t like her when she wore an oversized pink polo and went to Halloween as the Bride of Frankenstein. We started liking her when she “got hot” and took down Regina George by "out evil-ing" her.
Film and TV aren't the only problems. Books, like "The Clique" series, sites like Betches Love This and parody accounts on Twitter all continue to fuel this notion that nice girls are people to be looked down on.
In the real world, we know that opposite tends to be true. Nice girls do not finish last. You are much more likely to get ahead in life if you treat people with respect, instead of stomping on anyone who dares to stand in your way.
So, in case you wonder where I am now, I have officially retired my “Mean Girl” title.
While I probably never will be sunshine, still prefer Blair over Serena and am tempted to verbally assault people who don’t do their part in group projects, you won’t any burn book I've written anytime soon.
Do yourself a favor: Be better than I was. It’s cool to be the nice girl, I promise.