Image Credit: Disney/Paramount/20th Century Fox

These Movie And TV "Mean Girls" Are Actually... My Role Models?

It’s easy to root for the good girl. Too easy, in fact, and that’s why I’ve been firmly on the villain’s side since I was a little girl. I watched High School Musical and immediately related to Sharpay and desperately hoped she’d get her happy ending and the main role in ***THE MUSICALE***. I guess you could say I kind of missed the moral of the story.

My love for villains has never left, and I’m always the first to jump to a girly’s defense. Like the icon Taylor Swift once said, “If guys don’t want me to write bad songs about them, they shouldn’t do bad things.”

Now we can apply it to these legendary mean girls, and say with certainty that if you didn’t want them to be mean, then you shouldn’t have gotten in their way. Gaslight, gatekeep, girlboss every single day.

Until my last breath, I will be defending these seven mean girls, who paved the way for all slay queens to follow.

1. Emily Charlton – The Devil Wears Prada

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Image Credit: 20th Century Fox Film

I think we can all agree that Emily was absolutely robbed in The Devil Wears Prada. She deserved to go to Paris. She is the ONLY Emily I want to see in Paris. 

She girlbossed her ass off for years, only for bright-eyed and bushy-tailed Andy to waltz in and steal her spot. I don’t blame her for being severely pissed off.

And why, exactly, was she considered such a bad person? She had to fight for her way up and so she expected Andy to do the same. She didn’t intentionally sabotage her, she just didn’t make life any easier than it was for her. Is it the nicest thing to do? Maybe not, but I see where she was coming from. 

Andy didn’t even want to work at this prestigious fashion magazine! Do you know how frustrating that must be for someone who has dedicated their life to it? It’s like those people who brag about not even studying for an exam and then get straight As. Screw them, and screw Andy too.

Emily, we will get you to Paris.

2. Sharpay Evans – High School Musical

Image Credit: Disney

I could write an entire dissertation on why Sharpay Evans was not the villain of High School Musical. Once again, we take someone who has dedicated their life to working towards something, and have some random, uninterested person steal it from them. I’d be pissed too! 

Sharpay works hard at her craft, as clearly demonstrated by her excellent warm-up techniques (MA MA MA!), and she is committed to getting into Julliard. But no, two loved-up nobodies swan in and steal it from her. They weren’t even off-script! Unacceptable!

As a former theatre girlie (please don’t hold it against me) and a sassy blonde myself, I am firmly Team Sharpay. I respect her hustle, I respect her creative means, and I respect the sanctity of the theater. Sharpay was never the villain of this story, and it’s time we discuss it.

3. Meredith Blake – The Parent Trap

Image Credit: Walt Disney Productions

Now that I am 26 like Meredith Blake was in The Parent Trap, I can’t really blame her as much as I once did. Okay, okay, getting in between a man and his kids is not cool, I admit that. But let’s not just label Meredith as a gold digger when she was a self-made woman, she was a successful PR consultant who first met Nick through being hired to help his vineyard — do vineyards need PR???

He clearly led her to believe that getting rid of his kid was an option, and she met him in the child-free months of summer, so that was all that she was used to with Nick. Also, Nick was happy to live his entire life without seeing one of his kids, so it’s not such a stretch to believe he wouldn’t send off the leftover one.

We can’t say with certainty what would’ve happened. Maybe Hallie would’ve grown on her in time, we can’t be sure. And those kids were pretty harsh to her. Like pushing her onto a lake? Putting a disgusting lizard on her? I have never been so grateful for my IUD.

Speaking of pretty, Meredith was an icon. I wish I looked like that at 26. I yearn to dress with the poise and elegance of Meredith Blake.

4. Blaire Waldorf – Gossip Girl

Image Credit: Getty Images

I was a Blaire girlie from the start. Serena fans were pick-me girls, and Blaire fans were the girl’s girls. I said what I said!

Aside from her stunning looks, impeccable fashion, commitment to her studies and incredible mind, Blaire was a true friend to those who were friends to her. She would do anything for Serena (when they were friends), and she was ready to fight any man who hurt her. 

Blaire may do some slightly awful things — like running Jenny out of town, telling people Serena had a drug problem, and getting Rachel Carr fired in season two. But in her defense, Rachel Carr was having inappropriate relations with Dan (her STUDENT) and Jenny did kinda deserve it.

I think Blaire Waldorf inspired Taylor Swift to write “Mastermind.” She gets shit done, and she isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty. She acts out of loyalty for the people she loves, even if it’s something a little bit misguided. I strive to be the kind of friend that Blaire is and to find my own Chuck Bass (season two onwards obviously).

5. Regina George – Mean Girls

Image Credit: Paramount

The OG Mean Girl! The one who started it all! The one who ignited my sexual awakening! And now Renee Rapp is here to inject new life into this classic. It’s truly igniting my bi panic.

We are supposed to find Regina the most detestable character ever. I get that, but once you realize that Kady was also such a villain, you don’t hate Regina quite as much. Like Kady is a hypocrite, at least Regina owns what she is. She doesn’t pretend to be a nicer person than she is, she’s just a bitch and she’s good at it. 

I think she also must have so much pressure on her. Like ruling an entire school must be really hard. I most definitely don’t know what that’s like.

Also, Kady going after her new friend’s ex-boyfriend was also not a great thing to do. Regina took Kady under her wing and gave her all the popularity she so desperately wanted, and look how she was repaid for that debt. 

So Regina was ruthless, and maybe some of us could learn to embody that bad bitch energy.

6. Naomi Clark – 90210

Image Credit: The CW

I don’t see Naomi mentioned enough and it’s almost like all of you completely slept on the wonderful teenage drama of 90210?!?!

Blaire walked so that Naomi could run. She was a classic rich girl queen bee, and yet so much more than that. Throughout the seasons, she proved to have so much strength. She overcame some truly rough storylines, and throughout it all, she pushed through. She could be short, selfish, and a little bit greedy, but she was a fighter.

Naomi wanted to be loved and had so much love to offer in return. Plus, have you seen her hair?! That alone makes her an inspiration to us all. So spend a little extra time with your Dyson Airwrap to channel your inner Naomi, but please never send out someone’s naked photos as that crosses a line!!!

7. Santana Lopez – Glee

Image Credit: Getty Images

I have always been an avid Quinn supporter (me and my idol, Taylor, both seem to be keen on Dianna), and yet as I grow older and wiser, I see the value of Santana, the powerhouse of the entire show.

Amazing singer ✔️Incredible dancer ✔️Queer icon ✔️ Fashionista ✔️Hopeless romantic when it comes to Britney ✔️ Witty wordsmith ✔️✔️✔️

No one could do a takedown like Santana. As a writer, I am in awe of her comebacks and pithy remarks. They might have been absolutely savage at moments, perhaps a little uncalled for some would say, but they were lexical genius. 

Santana’s storyline also revolved around her sexuality, and she was forcefully outed in front of the school. Her path to accepting herself was an inspiration to many of us.

Plus that performance of “Smooth Criminal” literally changed lives. Including mine. 

Fleurine Tideman
Fleurine Tideman
Fleurine Tideman, a European-based copywriter. She’s interesting (cause she’s from Europe), speaks multiple languages (again, she's from Europe), and is mentally unhinged (despite socialized healthcare). You can find her European musings on Twitter @ByFleurine and her blog, Symptoms of Living, both of which are written to the sounds of unhinged Taylor Swift playlists.