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For Girls, It’s Be Yourself, and Be Perfect, Too

by Sara Rimer  |  2666 views  |  2 comments  |       Rate this now! 

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If you have a daughter, you should read this article.

Warning: It may contribute to the stress you feel as a parent.

The article’s subjects are amazing girls: successful, accomplished, driven, smart high school students who are under incredible pressure to be perfect in every area of their lives, from academics, to athletics to how they look in the mirror. While the article talks specifically about girls in the Newton North High School located in the Boston suburb of Newton, the issues and trends it describes are applicable anywhere. And they are scary. Girls interviewed for the article have resumes and accomplishments that will knock your socks off, but all feel inadequate in some way (a successful athlete feels she is not a fast-enough runner, for example). They feel they are not perfect enough and many suggest that while academic, athletic, community and other accomplishments are important to them, so is looking good and being pretty.

They want to have it all. Or perhaps, they feel pressure to have it all and be perfect in every way. Sound familiar? Are we, working moms, feeling the same type of pressure to be perfect workers, perfect moms, perfect wives, friends, children, people?

Join the discussion and let us know what you think. Does this article disturb you? How do you feel about the pressure teenage girls feel to be perfect?

2 comments so far...

  • I think this is a great article that brings to light (again) the ever-growing pressure that exists, specifically as it surrounds high school and college admissions. As parents, can we, or do we, want to defuse this pressure, or are we products of our neighborhood and environment? I always told myself that I would never be one of those hyper-intense mothers, but I can see myself becoming that way, and it's a very tough balance.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Susan Ogilvy on 5th April 2007

  • I must say, this article really disturbs me. I have a 3 year old daughter and we live in a similarly high-pressure high-achieving area. I am very much type-A myself and that's not made life easy. I worry about how much pressure she will feel as well as how much pressure I might put on her myself. I read the article and first, I think, ok, we're going to try to be more easygoing as parents, etc., but peer pressure becomes a much stronger influence than parenting when kids go to school that I worry whether we'll be able to overcome that. Anyone else?

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Nataly on 5th April 2007