On Oprah’s Next Chapter, Gabrielle Union made a confession: under her pretty face was a mean girl… now reformed. With acting titans Alfre Woodard, Viola Davis, and Phylicia Rashad looking on, Union admitted that she enjoyed tearing other Black actresses down until a friend gave her a reality check.
“’Okay, now, how did your life change?’” Union recalls her friend saying. “’Did you get the guy? Did you get the job? Is your house any bigger? Did money just magically get put in your pocket? What positive [event] happened in your life after you just tore that woman down?’”
Union identifies “ratchet culture” and society’s support of tearing one another down, as the reason mean girl culture is so prevalent. But ultimately it comes down to individual insecurity. In an industry like Hollywood’s, where fierce competition can bring out the worst in people, bringing others down is the easy way out to lifting yourself up. As Union admits, it’s not effective in the long run.
Hollywood doesn’t have a monopoly on this type of behavior. Whether your stage is a drive-thru window or a corner office, it can be easy to fall into the mental trap of dragging others down, limiting your own success in the process. Check out these nine mean girl habits and take a good look in the mirror. If you see yourself in the next few pages, it may be time for a reality check of your own.