In Defense of Mean Girls
Holding in your emotions is not healthy. Numerous studies have revealed this over and over again, but most of us still aren't listening. This is resulting in symptoms like ulcers, migraines, insomnia, anxiety attacks, and randomly screaming at Panera Bread employees when they get your coffee order wrong for what feels like the millionth time this week. Regardless of what Panera stores I am no longer welcomed into, releasing your emotional baggage is easier said than done. The following fictional characters know what I'm talking about, and that's why I think we should cut them some slack. They're just as stressed out in their fictional world as we are in ours.
Mother Gothel: Tangled
I can see why you might initially think Mother Gothel is the absolute worst. She never lets Rapunzel leave the tower, is consistently making jokes at Rapunzel's expense, and has henchmen chase Rapunzel throughout the movie. However, Mother Gothel cannot be that bad. Everyone seems to conveniently forget that Mother Gothel raised Rapunzel. She fed her, she let her wear all kinds of pink monstrosities with no comment (for the most part), and she let her finger paint all over the tower. Would your mother allow you to finger paint all over your room and call it art? Doubtful. Mother Gothel might have some crazy in her, but it clearly flows from how insecure she is about her looks. This woman imprisoned a young girl for 17 years in the hopes that it would make her prettier. There isn't one of us out there that hasn't done something crazy in hopes of better skin, hair, or nails, so we should all just cut Mother Gothel some slack.
Toph Bei Fong: Avatar, The Last Airbender
As someone strongly opposed to bathroom humor, I get it if you don't like Toph. She is disgusting. She burps, farts, wrestles, picks her nose, and rarely bathes. Toph is terribly mean to everyone that she comes into contact with. However, she's possibly the coolest kid on this show. Toph was born blind, and because of this, her parents came very close to bubble wrapping her to protect her from the rest of the world. Her parents quite literally did not allow her out of the house. Despite this, Toph somehow snuck out of her home and learned Earth Bending from a clan of Badgermoles, then got so good at it that she taught herself Metal Bending. In addition, Toph was born with a silver spoon in her mouth but spit it out as fast as she could. This girl could be wearing a tutu while eating pink cupcakes everyday, but instead she chose a difficult and nomadic lifestyle. You don't have to respect that, but you should
DeeDee: Dexter's Lab
A lot of people would categorize DeeDee as annoying and destructive, but I'm not so sure. Yes, DeeDee breaks vials, pushes over shelves, and has accidentally caused an explosion or two, but that doesn't mean she's a bad person. If you ask me, DeeDee is an older sister who realizes how incredibly intelligent and cool her little brother is and wants to hang out with him all the time. DeeDee annoys Dexter because she is looking for attention. She is the older sibling, yet she consistently plays second fiddle to Dexter. Despite this, DeeDee is a good sister. Did you ever see the episode where Dexter told her a long winded science joke and she just sat there and listened? How many of you would do that without rolling your eyes? DeeDee is annoying and attention seeking, yes, but she sure does love Dexter.
Debbie Thornberry: The Wild Thornberrys
Debbie Thornberry is a grouch, and it is not her fault. She is doing her absolute best with the nickels and dimes that she has been given. First of all, her parents force her to live in the wilderness at the age of sixteen. Debbie should be sneaking out of her bedroom window, loitering at her local mall, and complaining that someone used up the last of the shampoo. Instead, she consistently finds herself in the middle of the jungle, with only her parent's RV for protection. Second, she covers for Eliza. Everyone thinks that Eliza is so great just because she can talk to animals, but Debbie knows the real deal. Eliza just gets the family into trouble - dangerous trouble - and Debbie is the one that has to pick up the pieces. In addition to these issues she also has the typical teen girl problem of being forced to babysit her little brother. However, in Debbie's case, her little brother is a feral child that her parents found in the jungle, previously raised by baboons. I mean, what other babysitter has to deal with a boy who only speaks baboon language and whose trademark is 'The Wedgie Dance'?
I'm not saying you have to be friends with your resident mean girl. In fact, I wouldn't necessarily advise it. I'm also not saying that its okay to be a mean girl because hey, I remember high school, I still don't like you, and you know who you are. What I am saying is that we all have our off days. So next time someone cuts you in line at Starbucks, steps on your toes, or, oh I don't know, screams at you for very little reason in a Panera Bread, cut them some slack.