In the text Kirsten Learns a Lesson the keyword girlhood is represented as innocence, youth, family role responsibilities (chores) while in the movie Mean Girls girlhood is represented as popularity, fashion, and social life.
From the book Kirsten Learns a Lesson, we learn about her experience as an immigrant in America. We are able to see both her home and school life. Kirsten has her morning chores that she is expected to do before she goes to school and then she has her evening chores to complete. Her mother and father do not expect her to get into any trouble, nor do they believe she will because she is still just a young girl, which I’m inferring to them means innocence. Another representation of girlhood from this text is that Kirsten is obedient and follows her parents’ rules and does not disobey them.
On the other hand, in the movie Mean Girls the idea of girlhood is represented in an opposite way. The main characters Regina, Karen, Gretchen are what most of the high school girls aspire to be. These three girls seem to “have it all,” the looks, the fashion, the popularity, the attitude, and boys who like them. This is what high school girls want and what society depicts as girlhood, at least for high school aged girls. Mean Girls brings in another part of the debate of the definition of girlhood discussed in the Keywords Essay as sexuality. Girls in this movie look at sexuality as another sign or expectations of girlhood, while other cultures may look at a girl’s sexuality as a transition from girlhood to womanhood. The three “mean girls” look down and in a way diminish the other girls in high school that don’t have as good of fashion as them, or the appearance or their sexual activity and because of that the other high school girls see these as expectations or requirements of girlhood. High school girls in this movie are mostly just concerned with what other girls, especially the “mean girls,” think of them.
I saw the connections between this book and movie when I was thinking about what girls think about what other girls think about them. In Kirsten Learns a Lesson, Kirsten is scared to present her poem to the class because she is worried what the other children will think of her and her English and that connected me to Mean Girls because this movie is centered around high school and the stereotypes girls in particular are supposed to follow. The definition of girlhood is always changing and is different to what age group of girls you are talking about. However, there are some things that might not always change and that is how I was able to connect the older book Kirsten Learns a Lesson to a modern movie Mean Girls.