Odd Girl Speaks Out: Girls Write about Bullies, Cliques, Popularity, and Jealousy

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The national bestseller Odd Girl Out exposed a hidden culture of cruelty that had always been quietly endured by American girls. As Rachel Simmons toured the country, these girls found their voices and spoke to her about their pain. They wanted to talk-and they weren't the only ones. Mothers, teachers, counselors, young professional women, even fathers, came to Rachel with heart-wrenching personal stories that could no longer be kept secret.
Here, Rachel creates a safe place for girls to talk, rant, sound off, and find each other. The result is a collection of wonderful accounts of the inner lives of adolescent girls. Candid and disarming, creative and expressive, and always exceptionally self-aware, these poems, songs, confessions, and essays form a journal of American girlhood. They show us how deeply cruelty flows and how strongly these girls want to change.
Odd Girl Out helped girls find their voices; Odd Girl Speaks Out helps them tell their stories.

I'm always the odd girl out
No one talks to me
I try to be friendly and speak out
But I'm invisible, see?

You know, gossip is a natural thing in high school. I'm one of those girls that will
do it right in front of you. I'll whisper at my friends and look at you the whole time.
Then we'll all cut up laughing. You know we're talking about you.

My best friend and I started being friends with this other girl. But she was fat. It was hard because she always wanted to go down the slide second and she would crush us. We didn't want to tell her she was fat, so we decided to drop her. Her mother called my mother and
told her we were being mean. But we just couldn't be friends with her anymore.

-from Odd Girl Speaks Out
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About the author

RACHEL SIMMONS, best-selling author of Odd Girl Speaks Out and The Curse of the Good Girl, is an educator and cofounder of the Girls Leadership Institute. A Rhodes Scholar, she has appeared on Today, Oprah, and other major shows, including her own PBS special, and writes frequently for Teen Vogue.
www.rachelsimmons.com

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Additional Information

Publisher
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Published on
Jan 19, 2004
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Pages
208
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ISBN
9780547416670
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Language
English
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Genres
Education / Student Life & Student Affairs
Family & Relationships / Life Stages / Adolescence
Social Science / Sociology / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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"Is it wrong that I wanted to underline every single word in this book? Simmons brilliantly crystallizes contemporary girls’ dilemma: the way old expectations and new imperatives collide; how a narrow, virtually unattainable vision of ‘success’ comes at the expense of self-worth and well-being. Enough As She is a must-read, not only for its diagnosis of the issues but for its insightful, useful strategies on how to address them."—Peggy Orenstein, author of Girls & Sex

"A brilliant and passionate call to action that reveals how girls and young women are suffering in our toxic culture of constant comparison and competition. This is the book parents need to change girls’ lives and guide them to truly become happy, healthy, and powerful adults."—Rosalind Wiseman, author of Queen Bees and Wannabees

From the New York Times bestselling author of Odd Girl Out, a deeply urgent book that gives adults the tools to help girls in high school and college reject "supergirl" pressure, overcome a toxic stress culture, and become resilient adults with healthy, happy, and fulfilling lives.

For many girls today, the drive to achieve is fueled by brutal self-criticism and an acute fear of failure. Though young women have never been more "successful"–outpacing boys in GPAs and college enrollment–they have also never struggled more. On the surface, girls may seem exceptional, but in reality, they are anxious and overwhelmed, feeling that, no matter how hard they try, they will never be smart enough, successful enough, pretty enough, thin enough, popular enough, or sexy enough.

Rachel Simmons has been researching young women for two decades, and her research plainly shows that girl competence does not equal girl confidence—nor does it equal happiness, resilience, or self-worth. Backed by vivid case studies, Simmons warns that we have raised a generation of young women so focused on achieving that they avoid healthy risks, overthink setbacks, and suffer from imposter syndrome, believing they are frauds. As they spend more time projecting an image of effortless perfection on social media, these girls are prone to withdraw from the essential relationships that offer solace and support and bolster self-esteem.

Deeply empathetic and meticulously researched, Enough As She Is offers a clear understanding of this devastating problem and provides practical parenting advice—including teaching girls self-compassion as an alternative to self-criticism, how to manage overthinking, resist the constant urge to compare themselves to peers, take healthy risks, navigate toxic elements of social media, prioritize self-care, and seek support when they need it. Enough As She Is sounds an alarm to parents and educators, arguing that young women can do more than survive adolescence. They can thrive. Enough As She Is shows us how.

Bestselling author of Odd Girl Out, Rachel Simmons exposes the myth of the Good Girl, freeing girls from its impossible standards and encouraging them to embrace their real selves

In The Curse of the Good Girl, bestselling author Rachel Simmons argues that in lionizing the Good Girl we are teaching girls to embrace a version of selfhood that sharply curtails their power and potential. Unerringly nice, polite, modest, and selfless, the Good Girl is a paradigm so narrowly defined that it's unachievable. When girls inevitably fail to live up-experiencing conflicts with peers, making mistakes in the classroom or on the playing field-they are paralyzed by self-criticism, stunting the growth of vital skills and habits. Simmons traces the poisonous impact of Good Girl pressure on development and provides a strategy to reverse the tide. At once expository and prescriptive, The Curse of the Good Girl is a call to arms from a new front in female empowerment.

Looking to the stories shared by the women and girls who attend her workshops, Simmons shows that Good Girl pressure from parents, teachers, coaches, media, and peers erects a psychological glass ceiling that begins to enforce its confines in girlhood and extends across the female lifespan. The curse of the Good Girl erodes girls' ability to know, express, and manage a complete range of feelings. It expects girls to be selfless, limiting the expression of their needs. It requires modesty, depriving the permission to articulate their strengths and goals. It diminishes assertive body language, quieting voices and weakening handshakes. It touches all areas of girls' lives and follows many into adulthood, limiting their personal and professional potential.

Since the popularization of the Ophelia phenomenon, we have lamented the loss of self-esteem in adolescent girls, recognizing that while the doors of opportunity are open to twenty-first-century American girls, many lack the confidence to walk through them. In The Curse of the Good Girl, Simmons provides a catalog of tangible lessons in bolstering the self and silencing the curse of the Good Girl. At the core of Simmons's radical argument is her belief that the most critical freedom we can win for our daughters is the liberty not only to listen to their inner voice but also to act on it.
"Is it wrong that I wanted to underline every single word in this book? Simmons brilliantly crystallizes contemporary girls’ dilemma: the way old expectations and new imperatives collide; how a narrow, virtually unattainable vision of ‘success’ comes at the expense of self-worth and well-being. Enough As She is a must-read, not only for its diagnosis of the issues but for its insightful, useful strategies on how to address them."—Peggy Orenstein, author of Girls & Sex

"A brilliant and passionate call to action that reveals how girls and young women are suffering in our toxic culture of constant comparison and competition. This is the book parents need to change girls’ lives and guide them to truly become happy, healthy, and powerful adults."—Rosalind Wiseman, author of Queen Bees and Wannabees

From the New York Times bestselling author of Odd Girl Out, a deeply urgent book that gives adults the tools to help girls in high school and college reject "supergirl" pressure, overcome a toxic stress culture, and become resilient adults with healthy, happy, and fulfilling lives.

For many girls today, the drive to achieve is fueled by brutal self-criticism and an acute fear of failure. Though young women have never been more "successful"–outpacing boys in GPAs and college enrollment–they have also never struggled more. On the surface, girls may seem exceptional, but in reality, they are anxious and overwhelmed, feeling that, no matter how hard they try, they will never be smart enough, successful enough, pretty enough, thin enough, popular enough, or sexy enough.

Rachel Simmons has been researching young women for two decades, and her research plainly shows that girl competence does not equal girl confidence—nor does it equal happiness, resilience, or self-worth. Backed by vivid case studies, Simmons warns that we have raised a generation of young women so focused on achieving that they avoid healthy risks, overthink setbacks, and suffer from imposter syndrome, believing they are frauds. As they spend more time projecting an image of effortless perfection on social media, these girls are prone to withdraw from the essential relationships that offer solace and support and bolster self-esteem.

Deeply empathetic and meticulously researched, Enough As She Is offers a clear understanding of this devastating problem and provides practical parenting advice—including teaching girls self-compassion as an alternative to self-criticism, how to manage overthinking, resist the constant urge to compare themselves to peers, take healthy risks, navigate toxic elements of social media, prioritize self-care, and seek support when they need it. Enough As She Is sounds an alarm to parents and educators, arguing that young women can do more than survive adolescence. They can thrive. Enough As She Is shows us how.

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