"In 1994, Reviving Ophelia was published, and it shone a much-needed spotlight on the problems faced by adolescent girls. The book became iconic and helped to reframe the national conversation about what author Mary Pipher called "a girl-poisoning culture" surrounding adolescents. Fast forward to today, and adolescent girls and the parents, teachers, and counselors who care about them find themselves confronting many of the same challenges Pipher wrote about originally as well as new ones specific to today. In this revised and updated Reviving Ophelia, Pipher and her daughter, Sara Pipher Gilliam (who was a teenager at the time of the book's original publication), have incorporated these new issues for a 21st-century readership. In addition to examining the impact that social media has on adolescent girls' lives today, Pipher and Gilliam explore the rising and empowering importance of student activism in girls' lives, the wider acceptance of diverse communities among young people, and the growing disparities between urban and rural, rich and poor, and how they can affect young girls' sense of self-worth. With a new foreword and afterword and chapters that explore these topics, this new edition of Reviving Ophelia builds on the relevance of the original as it provides key insights into the challenges and opportunities facing adolescent girls today. The approach Pipher and Gilliam take in the new edition is just what it was in the original: a timely, readable combination of insightful research and real-world examples that illuminate the challenges young women face and the ways to address them. This updated Reviving Ophelia looks at 21st century adolescent girls through fresh eyes, with insights and ideas that will help new generations of readers." --
Original publication date
It is not OK to parent with our heads in the sand, or for us to assume taht things have gotten better than when we went to school. Even if you homeschool, you must be aware of what this type of behavior looks like so you can discuss it with your daughter and perhaps even more importantly, your sons. Discussions must occur around why this impairs learning, self-image and harms the development of human potential. Don't be afraid to read this book. Be afraid NOT to read this book.
Junior High is obviously the real battlefield. The onset of puberty and the tremendous pressure to conform to peer expectations changes girls dramatically. The media sends a message of superficiality and consumerism and ignores anything or anyone who isn't perfect by its own definition. Girls who feel
insecure are punished and ostracized. Girls who are different are shunned. Dr. Pipher compares the 1960's culture of her own adolescence with the 1990's and illustrates the complexity of being a 1990 teenager versus the relative simplicity of 30 years prior. A sobering and frightening book but a must read.
Young as I was, this was the first explicitly feminist text I had ever been exposed to, and for the first time in my life it was able to give me a framework for understanding and a means of describing and recognizing the tensions and problems I was beginning to be able to detect in the environment around me and in the girls who were my friends and classmates. It didn't really matter to me that the girls whose stories were featured in the book were by and large far more troubled than myself or any of the adolescents I knew; I could still relate to the angst, insecurities, and general mien shown in their stories. To a degree, both at the time and still today, I felt that having a broader and more holistic understanding of what made things go wrong for so many girls inoculated me against many of these same problems, and allowed me to adopt more effective coping strategies for the drama that inevitably comes with simply being a young teen, and especially with being a young teenage girl.
The text in Reviving Ophelia is fairly simple, straightforward, and concisely described. For all that it's firmly grounded in feminist theory and psychotherapeutic practice, it's neither overly academic nor bogged down in complex theoretical nuance. It is certainly valuable reference reading for parents of preadolescent girls to prepare them for what their daughters may soon be subject to, but I think it can just as effectively (if not more so) be treated as an invaluable toolkit for young girls themselves who may already be confused by the changes thrown at them by biology and their social group, as a means of clarifying and educating them about the hazards of youth in a superficial society.
I think this book needs to reach parents somehow. Professionals deal with the aftereffects, it would be nice to get this to parents
This particular copy has been lent to friend's aunt, who read it during a time of crisis with her own teenage daughter. (It helped, she says). She left it in the rain, which explains its appropriately warped body--