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Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls (Ballantine Reader's Circle) Paperback – February 14, 1995
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At adolescence, says Mary Pipher, "girls become 'female impersonators' who fit their whole selves into small, crowded spaces." Many lose spark, interest, and even IQ points as a "girl-poisoning" society forces a choice between being shunned for staying true to oneself and struggling to stay within a narrow definition of female. Pipher's alarming tales of a generation swamped by pain may be partly informed by her role as a therapist who sees troubled children and teens, but her sketch of a tougher, more menacing world for girls often hits the mark. She offers some prescriptions for changing society and helping girls resist.
From Publishers Weekly
From her work as a psychotherapist for adolescent females, Pipher here posits and persuasively argues her thesis that today's teenaged girls are coming of age in "a girl-poisoning culture." Backed by anecdotal evidence and research findings, she suggests that, despite the advances of feminism, young women continue to be victims of abuse, self-mutilation (e.g., anorexia), consumerism and media pressure to conform to others' ideals. With sympathy and focus she cites case histories to illustrate the struggles required of adolescent girls to maintain a sense of themselves among the mixed messages they receive from society, their schools and, often, their families. Pipher offers concrete suggestions for ways by which girls can build and maintain a strong sense of self, e.g., keeping a diary, observing their social context as an anthropologist might, distinguishing between thoughts and feelings. Pipher is an eloquent advocate. Psychotherapy Book Club selection; BOMC and QPB alternates.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
Any female can tell you that she would never go back to adolescence. It was awful! Imagine how much harder it has gotten.
Our daughters are bombarded by messages that tell them that their entire purpose in life is to be a skinny, attractive, sex object.
Mary Pipher will open your eyes to the subliminal messages all around us, the ones that are damaging our daughters. Then she gives us ideas on how to combat these ideas, how to make our daughters realize where these thoughts of worthlessness are coming from, then how to overcome them through real purpose.
This really is I e if my favorite books. In high school, my English teacher suggested I read it. I didn't back then. Once I had my own daughters, I bough it for my kindle and have read it several times.
Whether we want to admit it or not, our society is hard on women. Look at magazine covers. Women can't have wrinkles, grey hair or cellulite. Men on magazines can have all of these things, because we look at their character. Women's magazines tell us we first and foremost must look good to have any value, then they tell us how to work full time, have a gorgeous house, balance career and family, lose the baby weight like celebrities and be flawless in general. Expectations we will never look up to. Men's magazines have articles on improving sex, meeting women, sports are awesome, bosses suck and more about improving sex.
While we can not fix our broken and biased society, we can arm our daughters with the knowledge that this is out there and then teach them that these messages are wrong.