Book Club: The Curse of the Good Girl: Raising Authentic Girls with Courage and Confidence

January 10th, 2011

In The Curse of the Good Girl, bestselling author Rachel Simmons argues that in lionizing the Good Girl we are teaching girls to embrace a version of selfhood that sharply curtails their power and potential. Unerringly nice, polite, modest, and selfless, the Good Girl is a paradigm so narrowly defined that it’s unachievable. When girls inevitably fail to live up-experiencing conflicts with peers, making mistakes in the classroom or on the playing field-they are paralyzed by self-criticism, stunting the growth of vital skills and habits. Simmons traces the poisonous impact of Good Girl pressure on development and provides a strategy to reverse the tide. At once expository and prescriptive, The Curse of the Good Girl is a call to arms from a new front in female empowerment.

Rachel Simmons is the author of The New York Times bestseller Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls, the first book to explore the phenomenon of bullying among girls. Simmons is the co-founder of Girls Leadership Institute and works internationally with girls, parents, and teachers to develop strategies to address bullying and to empower girls.