Girl Bullies: Attack of the Queen Bee

She is Ms. Popular. She is viciously cunning in spreading rumors. She is a master of manipulation and backbiting. And she wears glittery fingernail polish. She is the Queen Bee. She does not give black eyes, but she brings misery to the plain, meek, and chubby.

Who is the Queen Bee?

We already know a lot about the beefy boy who bullies the bespectacled eighth-grader in the hallway. But the hulking football player-slash-bully has a ferocious counterpart: the girl bully. She is pretty, has a flawless skin and to-die-for body. The Queen Bee has the most fashionable dress and shoes and the latest jewelry. She hires hairdressers to fix her hair. She has tickets to the coolest concerts in town and gets the boy she wants. She is seemingly perfect.

The Queen Bee has sidekicks, the Wannabees. Together, they make the lives of other girls in school a living hell – so miserable that, years later, the poor girls will be reduced in tears just remembering their experiences with the girl bullies.

How the Queen Bee attacks

Unlike her barbaric counterparts who push, toss, slap, or punch their victims, the Queen Bee uses nasty rumors, back-stabbing, manipulation, name-calling, and social exclusion to inflict pain on her victims. According to Rachel Simmons, author of Odd Girl Out: The Culture of Hidden Aggression in Girls and member of Ophelia Project (an anti-bully programs for girls), much of the bullying starts from a leader who rallies as many girls as she can to target one innocent classmate, usually for no reason at all.

The mean girls usually start rumors about their victim by passing embarrassing notes in class or writing discomforting letters to all the boys and then signing using the victim’s name. In some instances, the girl bullies organize parties and they make sure that the victim knows. The thing is, she is not invited. Another example of how cruel these girls are: crowding the lunch table so that there is no room for the victim to sit. The result of this bullying can be emotionally bruising.

The hapless victims

Victims of the Queen Bee are harder to detect compared to victims of the hulking football player-slash-bully. While boys have a black eye or bruises to show, girls are often "under the radar". They carry their bruises inside, hidden from their friends and even parents.

In her interview with girls and women who were once victimized by girl bullies, Simmons reveals that many girls transferred to other schools just to avoid the mean girls, developed eating disorders and ulcers, used drugs and abused alcohol, suffered from depression, or became suicidal. Many of them reported that they sought the help of psychologists and counselors in their adult years.

Advice for parents

Parents of adolescent girls should pay attention. They should act, for example, when they overhear that their daughter is being screamed at on the phone. This is a sign that the girl is being bullied. Parents should be open and talk to their daughters. A safe and loving home is what they need.