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Mean Girls: Real-Life Edition

An inside look at a social media campaign for social good

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A group of George Mason University students is changing how girls view bullying.

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We’ve all seen the movie Mean Girls. It’s almost ridiculous what an accurate representation of bullying it is. Girl-on-girl hate has become a major problem and while the movie is funny, it actually brings to light something dark. We’ve all been the target of bullying, or been the one to aim the target. This is so wrong.

A group of George Mason University communication students (Helen Row, Brooke Finnicum, Dana Faddoul, Tatiana Martinez, Kira Wilson and Rachel Cason) has started a social media campaign to bring awareness to this issue. The campaign is appropriately called Don’t Be A Mean Girl. The objective of Don’t Be A Mean Girl is to teach girls not to bully others. Everyone struggles with their appearance, but we will never solve our own insecurities by preying on others. Basically, if you wouldn’t say it to your friend, don’t say it to someone else. They have created a Facebook page and a Twitter account to promote their cause. They are encouraging students to reach out to them by posting on their page or using the hashtag #DontBeAMeanGirl.

At the beginning of their campaign, the girls sent out a survey to which they got almost 300 responses. In the survey they found that about 70% of GMU students have been negatively affected by comments made about their appearance. This may be sad, but it’s certainly not shocking. What is shocking is that most people that have been bullied have also bullied someone else. The girls report, “Out of those same students, 60% admitted to vocalizing negative comments about the appearance of others.”

The girls have created a promotional video for the campaign, which will be viewable on the Facebook page and on YouTube. The message of the video is that we should not bully others because there is no positive outcome and no reason to do it. It’s silly to think of bullying someone else when you’ve been bullied yourself. Kira Wilson says, “I hate to think that I’ve made someone else feel as bad as I’ve felt.” Rachel Cason adds, “I think it says something negative about our society that our first defense is saying mean things about others.”

While the campaign is still in progress, the girls say they will officially be releasing the video along with other clips in the coming weeks. The Facebook and Twitter pages will be releasing statistics from the campaign survey as well. Helen Row has said, “We’re hoping to get our video on Orca TV (a TV news source for Mason students).” Keep a close eye on this campaign because it has the potential to be big!

If you would like to reach out to the girls or share your story, don’t hesitate to visit their Facebook page, Don’t Be A Mean Girl.

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