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Inside The World Of "Mean Girls"
Just getting through high school without having one's feelings stung is a major accomplishment. Some outsiders like Janis and Damian don't care if they fit in, wearing their anti-clique clothing with pride and asserting their anti-establishment attitude with a vengeance.

But as Rosalind Wiseman points out in her book, Oueen Bees and Wannabes (excerpts of which appear below), and as Tina Fey illustrates in her film "Mean Girls,” some teenagers fall into cliques and become part of the Queen Bee's court whether they want to or not.

"We need to give girls credit for the sophistication of their social structures,” Wiseman writes. "Our best politicians and diplomats couldn't do better than a teen girl does in understanding the social intrigue and political landscape that lead to power.”

To be sure, the Girl World hierarchy is sophisticated and complex, and if the following guide doesn't give you the hives as you try to Imagine high school life today, just image living it!

The Oueen Bee: A combination of the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland and Barbie, she is a mixture of charisma, force, money, looks, strong will and manipulation. She reigns supreme, can silence other girls and boys with a look, and her popularity is based on fear and control. Nice? Not!

The Sidekick: A combination of willing servant and humble handmaid, the sidekick does everything the Queen Bee tells her to do. Though she considers the Queen Bee her best friend, the manipulative monarch looks down on her subject, who idolizes her nonetheless. Think sycophant!

The Banker: A combination of con artist and stool pigeon, the banker lures girls in, gathers their trust and gets them to divulge information about themselves, which she then banks like own benefit. She's almost as powerful as the Queen Bee in her manipulative abilities, and her casual droppings of gossip only strengthen her status as the girl in the know. Be careful of the banker's wake.. .it's full of innocent casualties who had the misfortune of trusting her.

The Wannabe: She aims to please the Queen Bee and will do anything to get in her good graces. But she tries too hard — a big no-no in Girl World — and is often merely seen as pathetic. Even as the Queen Bee gets her to do her dirty work — like passing a note to someone that will surely destroy that someone's world (at least for the day) — the calculating Queen only pretends to take the wannabe under her wing until the dirty deed is done. After all, she's nobody!

The Target: Worse than the wannabe, the target is the victim set up by the Queen Bee and the popular clique — set up to be humiliated, made fun of or excluded. Usually someone who once challenged the Bee and her bee-otcbv bunch, the target is at the bottom of the totem pole, kicked down there often simply because she tried to climb up.

The Torn Bystander: Constantly in conflict because she knows the Queen Bee is wrong, but won't stand up to her — why, she wouldn't want to become a target! — the torn bystander usually feels damned if she does and damned if she doesn't. As she desperately tries to accommodate align herself with what she really wants. And just what is it that she really wants? The poor torn bystander is too ripped apart to know.

The Floater: Self-confident, full of self-esteem and one of the few girls who doesn't base her self-worth on what others think. Aligning herself with no single clique, the floater is comfortable and welcome in almost all groups —and those that don't accept her, she wouldn't have wanted to associate with anyway. Willing to actually stand up to the Queen Bee if backed into a corner, the floater does have power, but not the same impact or influence as the Queen Bee because the floater is interested in friendship not idol worship. She is truly the silver lining in the dark cloud hanging over Girl World.

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