Growing up with 2 other sisters, being a “mean-girl” never happened outside of the confines of my house. We were mean to each other, but in the sisterly way. I was more of a mean person to one boy I went to middle school with. Only because he was the touchy feely kind and he deserved that punch in the eye I gave him.

It wasn’t until my adulthood that I realized some people can be downright nasty.  The operative word is some.  I can probably count on one hand, how many mean-girls I’ve interacted with, especially in my last 10 years of living in the Washington, D.C. area.  But I will say, one of my best friends actually started out as a mean-girl relationship.  When I say mean, it got to the point where I couldn’t take it any more and told her to meet me at the gas station.  We were either going to talk it out, or fight it out. I was so fed up with the constant harassment, that I finally said f*ck it.  Eventually, we both showed up at the gas station that day, and 7 years later, she’s one of my best friends. No blood was shed. No tears were shed. We talked it out and settled our issues.

According to a new study, women try to destroy one another through various methods that include “mean-girling” and shaming. Here’s how the study worked. Researchers, Tracy Vaillancourt and Aanchal Sharma, picked a woman who “embodied qualities considered attractive from an evolutionary perspective”. You know, things like  “low waist-to-hip ratio, clear skin, large breasts.”  The subject was then brought into the lab and was told to ask a group of women for directions.

During the first trial, the subject wore a mini-skirt and low cut top; for the second trial, she was in a casual t-shirt and jeans.  According to the study, the subject received nasty feedback from the other women when she had her “provocative” outfit on. They said things like, “What the [expletive] is that?” But of course this only happened after she left the room.  No one ever has the balls to talk smack in another person’s face.

Vaillancourt refers to this type of mean-girl tactic as “indirect aggression” — i.e. calling another woman a slut behind her back.

“The person making the attack doesn’t get injured,” Vaillancourt told LiveScience. “Oftentimes, the [mean girl’s] motives aren’t detected, and yet it still inflicts harm against the person they’re aggressing against.”

But why are SOME women mean to each other?  Then on the flipside, you can ask, why is it that women are always expected to get along with each other?  Sometimes there are people who just don’t mesh, for whatever reason.  But if that’s the case, keep the meanness to yourself and keep it moving, right?


Clutchettes, have you ever been a victim of  “mean-girl” tactics, or have you been the “mean-girl”?


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