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Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls (1994)

by Mary Pipher

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3,236244,025 (3.72)35
"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." --… (more)
  1. 00
    Ophelia Speaks: Adolescent Girls Write About Their Search for Self by Sara Shandler (twomoredays)
    twomoredays: If you're going to subject yourself to Pipher's damning work, you owe it to yourself to read this book. It's essays written by adolescent girls in response to Pipher's work.
  2. 00
    Same Difference: How Gender Myths Are Hurting Our Relationships, Our Children, and Our Jobs by Rosalind Barnett (mollishka)
    mollishka: While this book is largely dedicated to destroying the myth that women and men are fundamentally different, it has near the end an entire chapter devoted to tearing apart Reviving Ophelia and girls' so-called "self-esteem dive." Any parent (with either boys or girls) should read this book.… (more)
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» See also 35 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
Reviving Ophelia takes personal stories of girls and connects them to larger cultural issues. While written in the mid-nineties, and a little out of date in places, for the most part Dr. Pipher still delivers sound advice, often sharing tidbits about herself along the way. Pipher is a child of the 1950s, and even though the writing is over thirty years old, her stories still hold up. Who hasn’t been “untrue” to themselves, lying about their level of hunger, downplaying grades, pretending to like a style of music or fashion to impress someone else? Peggy Orenstein addresses eating disorders in Schoolgirls in much the same way as Pipher. At times, the stories of girls with overwhelming desires to be thin were so similar I would forget which book, Pipher or Orenstein, I was reading. Reviving Ophelia is different from Schoolgirls in that Pipher is drawing from actual therapy sessions while Orenstein visited two different middle schools and interviewed children in a different atmosphere. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Feb 1, 2021 |
I highly recommend it to teachers and mothers of girls. ( )
  Chrissylou62 | Aug 1, 2020 |
The trouble with reading a book like this, written over 20 years ago, is that you start wondering how things have changed. Has it gotten better for girls since then? Or even worse? I still would have liked a daughter. ( )
1 vote MarthaJeanne | Jul 14, 2017 |
very interesting information about what teenage girls are going through these days. ( )
  sydsavvy | Apr 8, 2016 |
Read this while I was in college because it interested me (it wasn't assigned). Pipher provides answers to the mysterious (ridiculous) behavior of adolescent girls. Having been the most awful adolescent--a curse to a hopeful mother--I was definitely curious. If only my mother could have read this back then! This book explains it all; mostly the affect our society has on developing young girls. It seems I was destined to suffer from depression, low self-esteem, an eating disorder, and a toxic relationship with my mother (not her fault!) Pipher helps adolescents and their baffled, suffering mothers understand their problems, behaviors, and motivations. I recommend this book to this group as well as grown women who are interested in women's issues.
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-- ( )
  engpunk77 | Aug 14, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
This book was good, up until the chapter on "Sex and Violence" which turned out to be a bunch of rape stories that made me stop reading the book afterwards.
added by leedavies777 | editNew York Times
 
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To the memory of Frank and Avis Bray
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When my cousin Polly was a girl, she was energy in motion.
[Preface] When I wrote Hunger Pains: The American Women's Tragic Quest for Thinness in the 1980s, I was attempting to understand the epidemic of eating disorders that had hit women in our community.
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"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." --

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