'Mean Girls' Art Exhibit Hopes to Spark Discussion on Female Bullying

Bullying. It’s a harsh reality, one that adults often don’t want to confront. Yet 1 in 7 students from kindergarten to 12th grade have been bullied and bullying is the number one reason for suicide in children ages 11 to 16. And while conventional thinking for many years held that bullying was mostly a male phenomenon, researchers now believe that girls are just as likely to be bullies, and even more likely when it comes to verbal and cyber bullying.

That’s what the new art exhibit “Mean Girls” hopes to shed some light on. The exhibit is of no relation to the iconic movie of the same name, but then again, I suppose that might be for the best given what Lindsay Lohan has been up to lately. Taking a more serious approach as it explores the ways girls can be mean, the exhibit features pieces from ten different artists and “examines the dynamics of bullying” especially as it relates to girls. The exhibit is curated by Jill Larson, who believes that art should be a medium to create dialogue and social change. Part of her goal seems to be providing needed new perspectives on female bullying, looking at the issue from all angles and creating conversation around this often overlooked topic.

The exhibit debuted in Pittsburgh this February and will make a month-long stop at Penn State this October where Larson and artists will also participate in a campus discussion as part of the university’s Bullying Awareness Month.

Let’s just hope they don’t run into Regina George.

With any luck, this exhibit will be around for a long time and will have the chance to tour widely across the country, sparking discussion as it goes. Larson hopes to partner with local organizations in every city, as the exhibit did with Strong Women, Strong Girls in Pittsburgh, and to continue reaching out to the community wherever it goes.


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