BEDA: Mean Girls and Wicked

It was brought to my attention that the comments system wasn’t working on the blog. And there I was thinking that I hadn’t had any comments because no-one was reading. Well you’ll all be glad to know it’s working now, so you can comment to your heart’s content!

Last night I went to see Wicked, the West End Musical at the Apollo Victoria Theatre. While it was the second time I have gone to see Wicked, last time was five years ago, so a much needed refresher was in order.

About a month ago I let slip that I’d never seen the film Mean Girls, and apparently that’s a big deal, because for the next few weeks I was pestered by almost everyone I met, guys and girls alike, to take the plunge and watch it. So I did. And it’s fetch.

Now while Wicked and Mean Girls may not seem immediately irrevocably linked, there are a lot of parallels you can draw between the two. They both portray a teenager, who is deemed an outcast by her peers, trying to fit in to a new university/college. Trying to be popular by being someone they are not, and ultimately realising they are happy with who they are. In my eyes, a very typical girly plot. But they both brilliantly capture the essence of the battles young people face with peer pressure and discovering themselves. A subject matter I, like most, played out in real time during my university years.

The reality is that “grown-ups” are just as much a child inside as teenagers. When you start in Year 7 at secondary school, those big kids in Sixth Form look like real impressive people. And when you get to university, you think those postgrads must know everything. But the reality is that once you’ve reached that age, you realise that they were just the same all along. Sure, they might have sat a lot more exams, or been to more parties, or travelled to more places, but they’re not these idols that we make them out to be.

I remember my dad giving a speech at his 50th birthday party saying “I’m still waiting for the day I feel like a grown up” and that’s it for me. That’s what this life is.

Like Elphaba in Wicked who finally gets to meet the wonderful wizard of Oz, only to find out that he’s spent his whole life just trying to be accepted, to be popular. At the expense of what she believed in. Elphaba looked up to the wizard for what he’d achieved, without thinking that he might not be “perfect”.

It’s like the whole story about exposing Boris Johnson, well just because he’s mayor doesn’t mean he has to live a “model life”. I’m sure he’s done some superbly stupid stuff in his time.

Just like Psy after Gangnam Style got a billion views, when he was asked about how much he enjoyed his success he said it was a burden. He never asked to be this role model. Now he has to be perceived as “perfect”, and PC, or his life will be ruined – sounds like a life already ruined.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that watching all these girly shows will make you crazy. No, not really. What I’m really trying to say is that it’s called a role model for a reason, because it’s a model. It’s not real. It’s another impossible ideal. Get drive from it, be inspired and motivated, but don’t idolise it. Don’t compare yourself to it negatively. Don’t change who you are to become it. As Oscar Wilde once said

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”

until tomorrow x