As mentioned above, the pressure to look ‘pretty’ is so immense for young girls.
And as magazines continue to simultaneously set the bar high, by airbrushing photographs, and crush women's spirits, by vilifying a famous name who dares to walk outside without any make-up, this pressure is simply becoming greater and greater.
In my opinion, every single woman in the world should read Unbearable Lightness, but I think it’s particularly important for young women and teenagers.
Those formative years are when our doubts about our bodies and our appearances really grab hold, and can become potentially life-threatening as time goes on.
De Rossi’s frank description of her battle with bulimia and anorexia, coupled with her tear-jerking account of the deep self-loathing that accompanies this striving for ‘beauty’, will ring true for every woman, whether she has ever suffered with an eating disorder or not.
There can be no finer example of the damage that our society is doing to its young women.
Portia de Rossi’s story serves as a potent reminder that the quest for a 'perfect body' is unattainable and, ultimately, destructive.
What books did you read as a teenager or wish you had read?
Hello, Kelley. Glad you like the choices, thanks very much for stopping by and taking the time to comment.
Katie, so nice to hear that your girls like to read. So many young people, as Jean points out, avoid books like the plague. I know guys and gals of my generation, who are almost proud of the fact they've never read a book - even for school!
Hello, Jean. Love your comment. Had an odd mixture of reactions to it, though. Initial laughter gave way to a desire to bash my head agaisnt the desk. What is happening to Western society?
I always feel happy when I see people reading. It's a great joy in my life, and because of video games and texting, many young people seem to be getting more illiterate. I can recall my son coming home from HS a few years ago (it doesn't seem that long) and telling me the class was discussing Women's Suffrage. Some of the girls were actually saying, "I don't think women should have to suffer." As they say, OMG. He went on to be an elementary school teacher.
My daughters love to read and it's official they are both teenagers, my baby just turned 13. They have read many of these but there are some new ones, a good many in fact. Look forward to reading these good books for teenage girls. This is just in time for summer, we are always looking for good meaningful books to read, thanks so much.
I love the Diary of Anne Frank and To Kill A Mockingbird. Wonderful choices. Thanks for sharing! Take care, Kelley
Hello Brenda, I love 'To Kill a Mockingbird', too. For me, it is one of the finest works of fiction. And I highly recommend 'How to Be a Woman', it had me roaring with laughter in parts and Moran has such a wonderfully frank, realistic approach to feminism and womanhood. Gave me pause to think about a few things too. I hope you enjoy it!
To Kill a Mockingbird is my all time favorite book. It's just about everyone's favorite book. I'm going to get "How to be a Woman." It sounds very interesting.
Thank you Debbie, I appreciate that. And thanks also, Sheila. You're absolutely right, it's bad enough that society/the media objectifies women in the entertainment or fashion industries, but for politicians to be subject to the same ridicule just beggars belief. Call me crazy, but I don't care what Hillary Clinton wears or what she does to her hair or her face - I care about what's in her noggin. If she does a good job, she could dye her hair green and go around wearing a sombrero for all I care. And what really makes me sick is that it’s, by and large, not men who do this bitchy stuff, but women. So, it’s our attitudes towards ourselves and other women that must change. Okay, getting down from my soapbox now.
Great books.. I will share this with my friends with teenage girls.
Thanks for this list, WiseFool. I like your assessment of how the media tries to humiliate women into conforming to the "image" shallowness, even towards someone like Hilary C., who hardly promotes herself as a movie star. Girls need to be reassured that they don't have to follow that quest for "glamour" and can seek real beauty, which as we all know, comes from within.
Thanks, Dustytoes. I love Poe too, but I didn't read any of his work until I was in my early twenties. I'm not sure what I would have made of him as a teenager, he probably would have frightened me out of a good few nights' sleeps. Little Women is a great one. If I'd made a slightly longer list, that definitely would have been in there.