I remember reading that the movie Mean Girls screened better with older women than teenage girls. Film critics hypothesized that older women could look back and laugh at the ridiculousness of how females treated each other in high school, whereas teenage girls living through it feel uncomfortable about watching what they participate in. While these representations are full of stereotypes, there is a grain of salt in there somewhere.
One prevalent social structure in junior high and high school is the popular girl group-- usually led by the Queen Bee. The Queen Bee's followers are also popular but are usually not the "it girl" because they lack something- looks, money, confidence, etc. Often they latch onto the Queen Bee, trying to look and act like her. Just look at Kenley's model on Project Runway. She loved being embraced and designed for by who she called the "cute designer." She wanted to look like Kenley and even started adopting her rude mannerisms.
Ok, why am I writing about junior high/high school which was almost a decade ago for me? Because it repeats itself all over again in law school, particularly during 1L year. Since I work with 1Ls, I am a semi-detached observer of first year life. After law students put away their books in their lockers, they go up to the cafeteria. And you can always spot the Queen Bee and her disciples. Obviously these young women are smart and most are even nice. It is just funny how high school roles all come back so quickly.
Clearly you can tell that I have been watching Gossip Girl this season.