Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Queen Bee (and her LiLa Wannabes)

Agent and YA Author extraordinaire, Mandy Hubbard, recently had a great Twitter debate about Queen Bees and whether or not they exist in real life. It's an interesting discussion because these mean girls have become a staple in young adult literature. And truthfully, we're sort of fascinated by the Queen Bee phenomenon and the girls that exist beneath their seemingly bitchy shells.

We definitely had a Queen Bee in high school. In our experience, she wasn't necessarily the prettiest girl in school, but the most confident. At our school everyone seemed to follow the whole Emperor's New Clothes philosophy. In other words, she thought she was hot shit, and because she thought she was hot shit, others did too. In retrospect, I sort of wish I'd had the balls to come forward and point out the fact that she was naked...er...not really hot at all, just mean. But I didn't. I just buzzed around and did her bidding like the rest of the drones.

So what about you guys? Did you have a Queen Bee? Were you brave enough to tell her to buzz off or did you just fetch her pollen?

45 comments:

Creepy Query Girl said...

I think we definitely had a queen bee in grades 5-8. But when I arrived in highschool, there was more of a 'group' of popular kids. No specific person was the 'IT' girl or guy. I noticed that the queen bees from middle school lost a little of their confidence when we arrived freshman year. And if they had been particularly odious when were younger, a lot of people didn't give them the time of day later on. Payback's a bitch babe.

Creepy Query Girl said...

I think we definitely had a queen bee in grades 5-8. But when I arrived in highschool, there was more of a 'group' of popular kids. No specific person was the 'IT' girl or guy. I noticed that the queen bees from middle school lost a little of their confidence when we arrived freshman year. And if they had been particularly odious when were younger, a lot of people didn't give them the time of day later on. Payback's a bitch babe.

Jill said...

OH YEAH! Middle school, high school and many jobs over the years have each had a resident Queen Bee. Steer clear!!!

Bethany Elizabeth said...

I was incredibly lucky at my highschool, we didn't have Queen Bee. We did sort of have a popular group, but those were the ASB and student government kids who were really into school spirit. People who were genuinely nice. In middle school, there were a couple of those 'I'm popular because I'm popular' girls, but by highschool, they weren't popular anymore.

salarsenッ said...

I agree with Creepy Query Girl and Jill. Middle grade queen bees...suck! Girls who think they're all that yet haven't even grown the 'essentials' to full fruition. (Can y'all tell I have two middle graders??? One boy and one girl. I get the icing on all sides of the spectrum.)

Me, yup dealt with Queen Bees in high school. Finally told'em to scram--nicely of course--the end of my junior year.
Sheri~

Matthew Rush said...

There were several people like this when I was in school, boys and girls. I avoided them altogether until very near the end of high school, when I was at boarding school, and befriended a sort of Queen Bee type girl who ruled the place. She was older than I and we had a sort of big sister little brother thing going but she definitely looked out for me.

She was as mean as most of these types though, just feared and respected for her confidence I guess. Then she graduated and I had to fend for myself. Oh well.

Cheree said...

Oh, I can definitely remember the queen bees of the school. There always seemed one in my drama class or on my netball team... the one everyone flocked around and really hated to lose (oh, I also remember beating her out for most valuable player in a couple of games... boy was she pissed).

Alissa said...

I was pretty apathetic in high school and kind of lived in my own world. So, we might have had a queen bee, but I never really noticed. I would like to think that I was just sitting back and observing everything to some day turn it all into a novel, but honestly, I pretty much sleepwalked through high school.

Lisa said...

Yup. There was a Queen Bee when I went to HS, and observing my oldest daughter now, I can truthfully say there are STILL Queen Bee's running rampant. I haven't noticed it so much at the current high school she's at, but her middle school was insane. Ah, the formative years...so much fun!

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

I don't remember there being one queen bee. But my first two high school years I went to a brand new magnet school for the arts and we were all new, so my situation was kind of rare.

When I transferred back to my local high school for my last two years, the place was like a small city. WAY too many people to have one queen bee.

B.E. Sanderson said...

Oh yeah. There were Queen Bees in MS and HS and probably even college. I just did the best I could to avoid getting stung.

Rachele Alpine said...

I went to an all girls school, so there were lots of queen bees! My agent is pitching my story as a cross between "Mean Girls" and "Some Girls Are" (among others) and I loved creating my queen bees. But ouch, they could sure sting in my story!

Loretta Nyhan said...

Oh, we definitely had a Queen Bee at our high school. The thing was, all the teachers thought she was the nicest, sweetest girl. But she was, in fact, evil. And not misunderstood evil, just 100 percent horrible. If you weren't her friend you were second tier, at best. I was not her friend.

It's amazing how all those bitter feelings come roaring back years later!

Emily J. Griffin said...

YES! There was a Queen Bee in middle school. Her name was Lauren. She was a bitch.

In 7th grade I decided to stand up to her. Word traveled fast. Half the school thought I was a hero. The other half decided to throw m&ms at me during a party.

At the end of that summer I moved away for good. Perhaps, I had future domination awaiting me. Perhaps, I would have suffered social exile. Who knows.

The key here-- We started out as best friends. Isn't that always the way it goes?

Oh, and this was the only time EVER in my whole life that I almost got in a for real legit fistacuffs fight with someone. We lived in the same neighborhood and she tried to "step to me" at the pool. My dad pulled me away and threw me in the car like I had done something wrong (I was just standing there while she yelled) and embarrassed the crap out of me. (Honestly, I would've hit-a-bitch if she made the first move, but still.)

I'd totally forgotten about all of this until now. Wow.

TerryLynnJohnson said...

oh yes. I was a queen bee minion in middle grade, then woke up and avoided them in highshcool. But someone has to be the most popular. I think there always will be.

Hardygirl said...

We totally had one--and she was neither hot nor smart. She lived in my neighborhood, so I had to carpool with her throughout Jr. High.

I'm still dealing with the emotional wounds . . .

Um, or else, I'm writing about her and finally getting my revenge. Heh, heh, heh (evil laugh!).

sf

JennyMac said...

Girls, you know I never fetched pollen for anyone. LOL.

We didnt have any Queen Bees. Wait, that doesnt mean we were the queen bees does it? If so, I like my pollen mixed with red wine. haha.

Laura Pauling said...

Once in highschool it was a group but the group was very large. I think the queen bees were in middle school when kids don't have their confidence yet and just follow someone who they think is popular. Maybe because they lie and say they watch horror movies (or maybe they really do - shame on the parents) or because they are alredy on facebook and have cell phones and have a web site. So much of it is perceived. Sadly, this is true.

Heidi Willis said...

Love the discussion! Yesterday I would have agreed with Mandy... the idea of a queen bee is more of a fictional tool than real life, but I guess not!

We had clicks. The "brew crew." The jocks. The music geeks. The smart kids. I don't remember any one person as reigning supreme in those groups, and of course every group thought it was better than the other.

Of course, I could have been clueless too. It totally would have been like me to not even know there was a queen bee.

Falen said...

nope no queen bee in my school. I mean, my high school was really corded off into cliques, so i suppose it's possible some cliques had their own queen bee, but there certainly wasn't one in mine, or any cliques that we ran with

Candyland said...

There wasn't one, but an entire group in my class. I never said anything though. I minded my own...wait for it...beeswax.
:)

Laura Marcella said...

There wasn't any queen bees in my grade school or high school–not that I was aware of anyway, haha. I went to small Catholic schools so we all knew one another. We weren't all best friends, but everyone was generally nice to each other. The class older than us, though, definitely had the mean girls (and boys). So I think I just got lucky being in a pretty good class of kids!

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

We had queen bees in my school, but I was in the middle crowd and tried to stay out of the conflict zone. heehee.

Krispy said...

Over the years, I've come to realize I had sort of a charmed high school life. There might've been Queen Bees within cliques, but never someone in the entire school who commanded the kind of fear and admiration of a Regina George. Besides, a lot of the groups at my high school bled into each other. Prom princesses were class presidents were also honors students. Athletes were honors students were Junior Statesmen. So we were all sort of friends or at least knew each other. If we didn't like each other, we just tried not to associate.

C. Michael Fontes said...

While I didn't have a queen bee personally, there surly was one (or two or three) at my high school. I didn't have reason to tell them off, but I ignored them completely. All the other guys would swoon, I would ignore. I guess it was my own way of saying "You're not all that, Queenie!" :)

BTW, I gave you guys an award on my blog at http://www.cmichaelfontes.com . Thanks for having such a sweet blog!

Dara said...

We didn't really have stereotypical Queen Bee. Our high school's issues came more from racial divisions and antagonism from a very small number of the majority (our school was probably 65% African-American/35% white).

I think those who were the "queen bees" were the ones making disparaging comments about blacks and whites "mixing" and being friends. Some of my friends who were black were often accused of "acting white" just because they were friends with us. And of course, I could never say anything because they would instantly jump down my throat for being racist, even though they were in fact the ones being that way.

Blech. I'm glad I've effectively purged most of my memories of high school.

Shannon Whitney Messenger said...

My high school worked a little different because we were SO overcrowded. (My graduating class--if I hadn't finished early--had over 900 students in it). So we had two kinds of queen bees. The popular, rich, cheerleader type queen bee--who really wasn't very pretty, but the rich part seemed to make up for it. And then we had the queen bee chosen by the "Underground Newspaper" who was a lot pettier, but was sadly selected more for her general sluttiness than anything else. I never stood up to either because I didn't stick around long enough to really care. I ended up graduating when I was 16 and started college the same year, where the "Queen Bee" didn't really exist anymore.

Donna Gambale said...

Well, I went to an all-girls high school, so the Queen Bee concept was a little different. There were definite social groups and some sort of ladder, but not quite one Queen Bee... more of an elite group of them.

In grade school, there was a definite Queen Bee -- and as mean as she could be to some people, she liked me (#1 brainiac nerd) for some reason, and even stood up for me against the ... King Bee? ... when he was being his usual d-bag self.

Marsha Sigman said...

We didn't have just one, there was a group of popular kids.

One think I learned early on, the less you cared, the more popular you became. Isn't that twisted? But true.

Sarah said...

In middle school, there was a queen bee. In high school, for the most part, just a bunch of super confident, popular kids. I remember being totally fascinated by Mean Girls when it came out because the school I was at at the time didn't exactly have a mean girl/queen bee.

Myrna Foster said...

Ours was so popular because she was nice to everyone. Oh, and because she was gorgeous. Seriously though, I wanted to be around her because she was a great friend. We're still friends.

Talli Roland said...

Oh yes! I went to a really preppy school where everyone wore Polo and Benneton (early 1990s!). The Queen Bee was very nasty, but for some reason everyone wanted to hang around with her. Ugh, it's bringing back bad memories just thinking about it!

Hayley said...

As a kid still in high school we seem to have more than one Queen Bee, like they alternate weeks when they want to be in charge. But I really don't know I like to stay off the radar it's simpler that way, when you put yourself on the radar drama happens and its just not worth the effort. But we do have Queens Bees not everyone follows them though.

Jemi Fraser said...

We didn't really have a queen bee - more a collection of princess bees. I got along well enough with them, but didn't really travel in that circle so pretty much ignored them. It was a small school so maybe that played a part.

Elana Johnson said...

I think there were queen bees in my high school. Some of them I knew and was friends with. They weren't that mean. The mean ones, I knew about, but steered clear.

I've never experienced the kind of cruelty as portrayed, as say in, Some Girls Are. That book really freaked me out -- in a good way.

Carolyn V. said...

I was one of the odd girls. I stayed away from the queen bees and they stayed away from me (well, most of the time). =)

Icy Roses said...

Yeah, in junior high there were definitely queen bees. You know, the ones who figured out how to do makeup and already grew boobs by the time they were 11, so all of the guys were hitting on them. Those girls.

In high school, not so much. We didn't really have a whole bunch of cliques in high school. It sounds cheesy to say that everyone was friends with everyone, but I think most people had friends from all walks of life who were involved in all kinds of activities. And I'm glad. I can't stand queen bees, probably because I'm a big fat attention whore, so I like the attention myself, haha.

Christina Farley said...

I think the whole idea is interesting, but you know things don't really change once we get out of high school. I notice a lot of this kind of stuff even in adults that work together in close quarters.

Amy Lukavics said...

Oh boy, did I ever have a Queen Bee in high school, lol. She called me a dyke in front of our entire class for 'cheating' aka outsmarting her in a round of History Jeopardy. Since graduation she's aspired to star in The Hills and has a video on YouTube of her riding a giant sperm.

I wish I was kidding, man.

Gail said...

There may have been bitchy queen bees in my high school but I didn't notice them. I was too busy trying to gain quiet entry into the "A" group of nice popular kids. I was only in the "B-" group.

PJ Hoover said...

I've wondered this very same thing. I don't recall a specific queen bee in my class. There was the popular crowd, but no single person comes to mind. Maybe I'll flip through the yearbook to check.

Little Ms J said...

No Queen Bee where I went to school. There were some girls that were more popular than others, but going to school in the ghetto is a lil different than your average high school. Our metric of high school success had to do with riots and drive bys.

Word.

Sara B. Larson said...

Our highschool was so big (over 900 graduating each year) that there wasn't one Queen Bee, but there were definitely cliques and probably Queen Beeish type leaders within the cliques who would be rude to other girls inside and out of the cliques. I didn't really do the whole clique thing though, so I never really had any bad experiences with girls being MEAN GIRLS type mean to me specifically. I just stayed clear of the "popular" girls who were also jerks.

kanishk said...

WAY too many people to have one queen bee.
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ASBLACKASOBAMA said...

We had a queen bee in high school.... My group wasn't in the queen bee's group.... We all kind of stayed separate....