Monday, May 14, 2007


Ninety percent of teenage girls think they are overweight today, compared to 24% in 1995, according to a recent ELLEgirl survey. So what gives? Is it our celebrity-obsessed, extreme makeover culture? Is it the newest version of the age-old story of dysfunctional family relationships? Is it peer pressure—mean girls critiquing one another's every lunchtime indiscretion? Is it the $30 billion a year diet industry? It is, in truth, all of the above. But there is also another profoundly important—yet little noticed—dynamic at work in the anxious, achievement-oriented lives of America's perfect girls: They have a sometimes deadly, often destructive, lack of faith. So many perfect girls were raised entirely without organized religion. ... Overlay our dearth of spiritual exploration with our excess of training in ambition ... and you have a generation of godless girls. We were raised largely without a fundamental sense of divinity. In fact our worth in the world has always been tied to our looks, grades and gifts—not the amazing miracle of mere existence. —Courtney E. Martin, author of Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: The Frightening New Normalcy of Hating Your Body [, 4/24/07 stats]

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