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The Myth of the Perfect Girl by Ana Homayoun


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Ever felt stressed, overwhelmed, or just not good enough? Ana Homayoun, author of The Myth of the Perfect Girl, knows how you feel. Her book explores the unique challenges facing girls and young women today, and explains how the pressure to be perfect leads many girls to simply “fill in the boxes,” or follow the path set out for them by others instead of discovering what truly makes them happy. This can lead to exhaustion, burnout, and even dangerous compensatory behaviors like unhealthy eating habits, drug and alcohol use, and self-harm.

While reading the book, I was surprised by how accurately Ms. Homayoun captures the experiences and emotions of teenage girls. One chapter, in which she gives profiles of different types of girls from “The Dramatic Queen of the Party” to “The Worst-Case Scenario Worrier,” is particularly relatable-- you are almost guaranteed to recognize yourself and/or one of your friends in one or several of the profiles.

Her explanation of why teenage girls today are experiencing so many mental and emotional health issues is multi-faceted, and includes a discussion of increased academic competition, early onset puberty, the stresses brought on by social media, and even how female empowerment can make girls feel like they have to “do it all.” Ms. Homayoun has worked with thousands of girls, and truly understands the issues that girls today are facing, presenting them in a clear and relatable manner.

The Myth of the Perfect Girl offers many exercises and thought-provoking questions that can help you explore your interests, find a purpose, and attain genuine happiness and wellness. She previously wrote a book to help boys get organized, and uses this expertise to advise girls on how they can get organized and better allocate their time in order to plan a schedule that gives us enough time to relax, hang out with friends, and get that ever-elusive eight hours of sleep.

Perhaps most uniquely, Ms. Homayoun has also launched a social media campaign to get girls involved in the conversation about how to shift the focus from achievement to holistic wellness. One of the exercises in the book, the “Game of Threes,” in which you try three new activities three times over the course of three months, is particularly relevant as the New Year approaches, and serves as an alternative for New Year’s resolutions. She posts about one video per week featuring teenage girls trying out the exercises from her book- the first video can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5N4DaMRQQJM. She also posts daily conversation starters, inspirational quotes, and other media on her Facebook page: www.facebook.com/mythoftheperfectgirl.

I would highly recommend The Myth of the Perfect Girl to girls, their parents, doctors, educators, teachers, and anyone else who interacts with young adults. It is an indispensable resource that sheds light on the unique and sometimes devastating issues that teenage girls face, and provides ways to help any girl find greater personal wellness and become more satisfied with her life.

To find out more about Ms. Homayoun and the book, you can visit her website at www.anahomayoun.com.



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