When I first heard of the MTV show, Girl Code, I didn't think much of it. I was never a huge fan of MTV's programming anyway. After seeing this show blow up in popularity alarmingly fast, especially among middle school and high school aged girls, I decided to gather with my sister's friends in seventh grade and see what it was all about.
The show was promoted as "ladies teach us that size isn't everything, self-control is key, and how to stay calm.". What wonderful messages to portray in an entertaining show for young girls! But, that's not really the case.
I'm aware that this show is for entertainment purposes and is around to provide us with a few laughs, but taking this show's audience into consideration, Girl Code promotes Mean Girls-style behavior among school-age girls. If we want to decrease bullying and increase safety in our schools, this kind of stuff needs to be addressed.
I enjoyed a few segments of the show, particularly the one about boobs. Making a few jokes about the pros and cons of boobs of all sizes, but in the end, leaving us with the message that women should feel comfortable with what they have. However, the show addresses the "size doesn't matter" issue quite nicely, until I saw a clip of the only plus-sized women in the cast, Nicole Byer, giving us a guide for how "bigger girls" can attract a guy. Telling girls to "watch what they wear,", to wear their make-up a certain way, and to be really sweet and smile a lot. Teaching girls that they need to act a certain way to attract a partner is a pretty dangerous message to be sending. We need to be promoting the concepts of healthy relationships to women, not promoting unhealthy ones.
During the "sluts" segment of the show, many of the women praised "slutty" behavior. However, during the other segments, "thirsty" women are often criticized. While the term "thirsty" to describe promiscuous behavior is stupid enough on its own, this paradox left me puzzled.
They way the women talk about men is a bit unsettling as well. Telling girls to "blame [their] farts on the fattest guy in the room" and claiming that "If a guy has a crush on you, you have to take advantage of it!" Girls everywhere should know that men are not tools for women to use, they are human beings as well. If a show promoted the idea of boys taking advantage of girls, there would be some backlash. It should be the same when the roles are reversed.
Most importantly, the show promotes girls''s hatred and cattiness towards each other. The show frequently refers to girls who don't conform to the "code" as bitches, bimbos, thirsty hoes, and anorexic skanks. Promoting this behavior to middle school girls does not help the bullying crisis going on today.