Achieve high. But don’t let them see you sweat. This is the struggle for girls and young women in American culture. Ana Homayoun faces these illusions in The Myth of the Perfect Girl: Helping Our Daughters Find Authentic Success and Happiness in School and Life. She talks with Think host Krys Boyd at noon.
This pressure isn’t new. It’s only mounting. Visit Newton High School outside of Boston via “For Girls, It’s Be Perfect, and Be Yourself Too,” an NY Times piece from back in 2007. You’ll see a microcosm of what is considered normal for young women to expect themselves to possess in competitive amounts: intellectual prowess, success in sports, artistic ability, and social ease. And, of course:
“You still have to be pretty, thin and, as one of Esther’s classmates, Kat Jiang, a go-to stage manager for student theater who has a perfect 2400 score on her SATs, wrote in an e-mail message, “It’s out of style to admit it, but it is more important to be hot than smart.”
“Effortlessly hot,” Kat added.”
Listen to Think from noon to 2 p.m., Monday through Thursday, on KERA 90.1 or stream the show at kera.org.