11 ways 'Mean Girls' would be different in 2020

"You go Glen Coco!"

By Tegan Mouton

11 ways ‘Mean Girls’ would be different in 2020

Mean Girls

It’s the 2004 cult classic that has spurned a million quotes (“she doesn’t even go here!”), a Mean Girls Broadway musical, an epic Ariana Grande tribute and an entire day of the week dedicated to a specific colour.

While it is forever iconic, there are a few aspects of the film that haven’t kept up with the times. In honour of Mean Girls day, here are eleven ways that the film would be different in 2020 (we’re not including anything Covid-related).

The fashion would have a major upgrade 

Don’t get me wrong, the frilly skirts, heels, and pink-on-pink looks from the movie are pretty iconic, but probably wouldn’t hold up today. We picture The Plastics wearing trendy athleisure outfits, square toed heels, puff sleeves, cycling shorts, chunky sneakers, tiny sunglasses and chic nude palettes in 2020 (though obvi not all at once, that’s like, the rules of feminism).

Social Media would be an integral part of the story 

One of the main aspects that had to be updated when the story went from the big screen to the stage was the introduction of the smartphone and social media. The way these high schoolers would interact in 2020 would be completely different, and you can imagine the Burn Book would appear in blog/ Google doc/ WhatsApp chat format, there would probably be no four-way calling, and Regina would just need to go off on an anonymous Twitter firestorm instead of distributing photocopied pages of the Burn Book.

Cady would probably not be so innocent 

 So I get that Lindsey Lohan’s character Cady spent 12 years in Africa (they never do manage to specify which part of Africa) but it’s hard to believe that any teenager today would be that clueless when it comes to her peers and the general workings of high school. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’m sure Cady would have managed to stay relatively clued up thanks to the internet, social media or even Netflix in 2020, right? 

The Halloween costumes would have been V different 

As iconic as the sexy animal looks are, we think the Plastics would go for seriously basic Halloween costumes in 2020, think sexy Disney Princesses, DC’s Harley Quinn or characters from Riverdale (scantily dressed, of course). 

It would probably be more PC 

As hilarious as Mean Girls is, there are definitely aspects to it that haven’t aged all that well. Think of Janice’s labelling of the “unfriendly black hotties” and “nerdy Asians” in the cafeteria scene, the pretty homophobic attitudes directed at Damian and Janice, or the light joking about Couch Carr having intimate relationships with teenage students (“step away from the underage girls”). It can be hard to judge where the line between edgy high school satire and actually offensive content sits, but we bet if this movie was made today it would adhere to more politically correct guidelines.

Aaron could have just checked his phone for the date 

As thrilled as we are that high school hotty Aaron Samuels asked Cady what day it was on October 3rd (it was October 3rd) and cemented this momentous day as international Mean Girls Day, a 2020 Aaron probably would have just checked his phone to confirm the date, and then inevitably would have been distracted by an Instagram notification.

Regina wouldn’t have had to shop at Sears when she gained weight

 After Cady tricks Regina into eating Kälteen bars to make her gain weight (so mean), Regina is advised by a snooty sales assistant at a boutique that the store only stocks sizes 1, 3 and 5, and suggests that she’ll need to shop for a dress at Sears instead. One can only hope that in 2020 the body positivity movement has made enough progress that a store like this wouldn’t exist, and that Regina (who is still pretty small at this point) and a whole bunch of other body diverse ladies would be able to get whatever they need to suit their fab bodies, regardless of weight.

Regina would have just googled Kälteen bars 

Touching on the above point, while we know that Regina isn’t the most clued up on food types (“is butter a carb?”) but there’s no way a 2020 Regina wouldn’t have Googled the bars or looked them up on whatever trendy calorie counter app she’d be using. Cady’s diabolical plan would have been ruined on the spot, even if she did really read Swedish.

Mathletes would have been a great addition to a college application 

Cady’s joining of the Mathletes was described by Damian as “social suicide”, but from what I’ve learnt from my extensive watching of Netflix’s high school series, getting into a good American college is crazy competitive and students need to buff up their CV’s as much as possible to even be considered. So in that light, Cady’s extra-curricular activities and great maths abilities (“the limit does not exist”) would have been a great addition to her applications.

Cady and Regina would have needed some therapy 

OK so Cady saw Regina get nailed by a literal bus, that’s got to stay with you. We know Regina’s spine eventually heals and she becomes a lacrosse star, but there has to be some psychological damage there as well. We hope 2020 Regina and Cady would get some help and speak to a professional to deal with this traumatic af experience. 

The sex-ed class would have been more informative 

We can only hope that in 2020 the North Shore High School sex ed class would be better than Coach Carr proclaiming: “Don’t have sex, because you will get pregnant and die! Don’t have sex in the missionary position, don’t have sex standing up, just don’t do it, OK, promise? OK, now everybody take some rubbers.” 

And, “At your age, you’re going to have a lot of urges. You’re going to want to take off your clothes, and touch each other. But if you do touch each other, you will get chlamydia, and die.”

Judging by the students’ attitude to sex “I was half a virgin when I met him”, the school could be doing a better job.

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