“How do I even begin to explain Regina George?”

Growing up my parents taught me what I still believe are the basic fundamental values every person should have, including honesty, integrity, and respect. Little me always believed that everyone lived by those same values so I always trusted people. I was naïve and did not think cheating and stealing were even possible let alone that people actually did it. I thought everyone was naturally good. But was I right?

giphy

As I grew older, I realized accidents occurred and people made mistakes. This seemed natural because honestly who can be perfect all the time? But as I looked more into various situations I realized that people could be mean and I did not get it. I grew up pretty sheltered and my parents protected me from almost everything they believed would corrupt me. The positive side to this was that I became a very trusting person who would always look to the bright side of things but the down side? I was very easily taken advantage of because I was unaware of A LOT.

One thing I was ignorant of was that there were people in the world like Regina George.

According to Janis, Regina is “evil [in] human form.” But is this evil formed because of the way she was raised or was she actually just born evil? Some people do in fact have biological differences that result in them being naturally a certain way but people can also change.

Hobbes believes that state of nature is “unduly pessimistic” and that “benevolence is limited” and I cannot say that I entirely disagree. I do not think that niceness is necessarily “limited” but I do think that there is only so much of it in the world. In a true state of nature, which is “what life would be like… without government,” only so many people would show any signs of caring for others whereas most others would become self-interested and selfish. This demonstrates Hobbes’ cynical view of people. There is no way to determine what everyone in the world will be like in a time of anarchy.

I now believe that perspective is key. The way people are raised, where they are raised, who they are raised by, etc. effects the way that they see the world and other people. It cannot be determined whether someone else is naturally good or bad unless you look into his or her situation and family history. But, I am also convinced that someone’s state of nature can change depending on different situations.

Who knows, maybe for some people what it takes to change is getting hit by a bus, @reginageorge?

Advertisements

5 thoughts on ““How do I even begin to explain Regina George?”

  1. This is one of my favorite blog posts ever posted so far! I absolutely love Mean Girls and love the comparison with Regina George to Hobbes’ state of nature. Regina is the epitome of the elected sovereign in Hobbe’s state of nature. However, no one else seems to follow this social contract besides Regina and her posse. The rest of the school attempts to rebel against Regina and her state of nature and social contract which is an interesting component to include. Regina may be described as “poor, nasty, brutish, and short,” but the Lindsey Lohan character is the opposite. She may even fit in more with Locke’s state of nature in that she wants peace for all. However, great blog post and very interesting!

    Like

  2. I’m glad that you pointed out the difference in perspective and background. This raises the question of nature vs nurture. I feel Hobbes’ view is not just overly cynical but makes sweeping generalizations about all humans. In normal society, his views on personal behavior simply are not feasible. However, in discussion, we played a game in which a group of us had to survive on a deserted island. After discussing it for a while, we realized that the nature of humans and social contracts that Hobbes’ described was much more realistic in situations where the outcomes are uncertain. So in most everyday life experiences, Hobbes’ arguments are exaggerated. However, in situation where their is a degree of personal danger and uncertainty, Hobbes’ theories seem to prevail.

    Like

  3. I think your comparison of what you thought when you were young versus what you know now accurately portrays Hobbes’s theory versus what is reality. The question of whether or not humans are inherently good or self-interested can be viewed with similar perspectives. We would like to believe that everyone is always trying to be a honest, respectful person, but that is just not the case with so many people acting purely out of selfish goals. This is exemplified by looking at the number of people who become saints in the world versus how many criminals there are; people are ideally good, but realistically self-interested.

    Like

  4. I absolutely love the connection you drew here! Well done, it seriously grabbed my attention from the get-go! While I completely agree with what you are saying here, I only wonder what Rousseau would say in argument. Rousseau believes that people are inherently kind and compassionate, and will work to assist others even if it requires personal sacrifice or discomfort. As it is undeniable however, that Regina George appears to have no compassion or kindness towards anyone else, what would Rousseau say happened? If Regina had never socialized, never exposed to high school, the drama, the cliques, and the constant ability to compare herself with others and elevate herself at their expense, she would have been able to maintain her kindness, and their would be no “mean girls”. Regina was initially an honest and respectful person (at least in Rousseau’s view), but was ruined by civilization, or in this case, high school. As a result, she got caught in a positive feedback of dependency on others, needing their idolization in order to feel good about herself. I believe then, that Rousseau would argue, poor Regina George was simply a victim of civilization.

    Like

  5. I love seeing the comparison between Regina George and Hobbes’ State of Nature. It is an excellent example of pop-culture representing a centuries old philosophy. Regina George definitely represents Hobbes’ theory that “benevolence is limited” as seen by her nasty and brutal nature. However I don’t think her representation of the philosophy that people are innately selfish and self-interested is a misrepresentation. Think about why people are nice (i.e. donating to charity or volunteering). They do it because it makes them feel good to be helping others, they do it to be happy. No doubt this is a self-interested quest, just one with a better result than any of Regina George’s conniving schemes. In the end though I do also agree with another point you had when you disagreed with Hobbes about people in a state of nature being “unduly pessimistic”. I too find that to be a limited phenomenon that can’t possibly apply to everyone in this world, maybe not even to the majority of people in this world.

    Like

Comments are closed.