Alpha, Beta, and Gamma: The Divisions of Girl World.

Essay by CoachElleCollege, UndergraduateA+, November 2005

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The divisions of popularity in the world of girls are very clear. Rosalind Wiseman, author of Queen Bees and Wannabees and also Odd Girl Out, discusses two of these divisions. She labels the first group the "alpha" group; these are the girls that are considered "popular," who wear the trendy clothes, and are beautiful and wealthy. The second group she calls "beta," and these are the girls who are "outside the box" - they long to be invited to the parties, and try everything to fit in. Susannah Meadows, author of the June 3, 2002 cover story of Newsweek entitled, "Meet the Gamma Girls," breaks open a third group of girls. The "gamma" girl is "defined by what she does, rather than by her popularity rating." The individuals who are most affected by these divisions are the ones that keep these same divisions in place.

The alpha group will be most visible in adolescent society.

They are the popular crowd, the ones who consistently "look hot," and who care about little else than their appearance. They are, quite simply, celebrities on an adolescent scale. Damian, a character in "Mean Girls," when describing them to the new girl, says, "They're teen royalty. If Northshore [High School] was Us Weekly, they would always be on the cover." In the alpha group, there is always some sort of soap opera going on which everyone knows about. They are sometimes feared or hated, yet somehow, every girl knows every detail about them.

These girls often live in what is considered "girl world." Girl world has a specific set of rules regarding what you can and can't wear, how you can and can't act, and who you can and can't associate with. However, understanding these rules is usually very difficult, as girls...