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Mean Girl Energy

If you were born in the last five decades, you hopefully remember the movie “MEAN GIRLS,” the classic where we follow Regina George as she reigns as the leader of her clique — “The Plastics.” With her posse of other mean girls in tow, her aim is to have everyone turning on one another, coining the release of the term… “mean girl.” I will save you the play-by-play, but the titled term is one that’s often used to describe girls who are bullies, spread rumors, or make nasty comments — someone who is not highly thought of, to say the least. Once that label has been dealt, it’s hard to get rid of… and unfortunately, I’ve seen it a lot throughout my years in the pageant industry.

It’s not that the industry is actually full of mean girls — it’s a trope that we carry with us from pageant stereotypes and it’s one I think we actively work to dispel. But let’s be real, when you are in an organization where competition is the name of the game and you have young women competing for ONE position during a very formative period of their lives, there’s bound to be emotions that run high, words that are thrown around and a “mean girl energy” that shows its fangs every once in a while.

Mean Girl Energy

I’ve seen people be a part of it, be the victim of it and also decide not to compete because of it — even I’m not immune. Today, let’s lay it all on the table and dive into the mean girl energy vibes.

So first of all, pageants are one of the most complex environments that I've ever been in when it comes to managing social situations. From my experiences in the multiple organizations that I have competed in, it's supposed to be a “sisterhood” (you’ll hear this a lot and it’s true — I’ll touch on that later), but you're also still competing with each other. You have sister queens on the local level, but they're also likely your top competitors. You work with a local director one year that you share everything with — from the excitement of being the new queen but also all the highs and lows of the entire year — but then you switch to somebody else the next year and last year’s local director is now technically your competition. It makes me dizzy just thinking about it.

In my opinion, you will serve yourself best if you can set intentional boundaries, build a lot of trust, identify the trustworthy people in your circles, and understand that anything you say or do has the possibility of getting circulated. That can be a really challenging environment to grow — but it IS possible. Pressure creates diamonds, right?

So, let's go back to baby Annika for a minute...

Would you believe me if I told you that I was the mean girl? (I know some of y’all laughed and said YEP!)