You're right about the hollow approval thing. There were about six of us there, and one always tried to get the one up on the other. "Oh, let's do this!", and the rest would agree, but then someone would but in and say something along the lines of, "Ah, no way! How bland! Sure, we do this, but then--- we do THAT!", and everyone would practically disregard Girl #1's idea, and accept Girl #2's suggestion with wide open arms, although she just modified Girl #1's idea. Even in our own group, the bitchiness was still there, just on a somewhat muted level. You just /had/ to get the leg up on another girl, to look better in the rest of the group's eyes. It was definitely about approval there. You had to come up with the best idea; having it improved or booed was a frightening thought, and nerve-wracking. Speaking in front of the other five about ideas was as sickening as speaking in front of the whole school, really. And let's not forget, a good amount of the school disliked me.
I remember a handful of times, even saying 'Heya!' to someone in a random class would result in an extremely guarded greeting, as if I was about to do something to them. I wouldn't say it hurt, but I knew I was getting what I deserved.
The 'victims' were even picked unfairly. Mainly people who were once friends with us, who decided they had enough. That was one reason why I was scared of telling the other girls, I was afraid something like that would happen to me. At one point, I didn't even think we were friends anymore; just a bunch of girls held together, 'bonded' by what we did, with nobody else to turn to.