Book Summary, "Reviving Ophelia"
Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls (1994)
By: Mary Pipher
Why are American adolescent girls more prey to depression, eating disorders, addictions, and suicide attempts than ever before? According to Dr. Mary Pipher, we live in a looks-obsessed, media-saturated, "girl-poisoning" culture.
Pipher is a clinical psychologist who has treated girls for more that twenty years. She contends that despite the advances of feminism, escalating levels of sexism and violence cause girls to stifle their creative spirit and normal impulses which, ultimately, destroys their self-esteem. The stresses they face range from undervalued intelligence to sexual harassment in elementary school.
Unfortunately, girls often blame themselves or their families for this "problem with no name" instead of looking at the world around them. Reviving Ophelia offers girls' unmuted voices from the front lines of adolescence – personal and painfully honest. By laying bare their harsh day-to-day reality, Reviving Ophelia issues a call to arms and offers parents compassion, strength, and strategies with which to revive these Ophelias' lost sense of self.
PAMF also provides parents and teachers with a book summary of Cheryl Dellasega's response to Reviving Ophelia – Surviving Ophelia, found here.