America, you're sending girls a mixed message. On one hand you're saying to have positive body image and love who we are, on the other we're being marketed makeup and clothing that obviously turns us into someone different.
Experts have also told us that the number one, ultimate rule of the parent-child relationship is that a mother must never, under any circumstance, ever consider being best friends with her daughter. I guess I blew that one.
A girl's social networking profile is a persona she constructs, a salve for the anxiety so many girls feel about relationships. All this, however, at a cost: the same tools girls use to alleviate insecurity are just as likely to inflame it.
This year we celebrate the 40th anniversary of Title IX, which bars sex discrimination in publicly funded programs. It has increased girls' access to public education, extracurricular programs and, yes, athletics, for which it's best known.
Feminism is ultimately about the freedom to chose and compete and be who you are -- also to tumble into the slime pit of excess. As cable television has learned, there's money in the mire -- lots of it.
For 20 years, Meade Palidofsky has been working in juvenile prisons, helping young people find their voice and tell their stories through performance art. I learned about her incredible work through the documentary, "Girls on the Wall."
In my research, what was so startling was how aware all teenage girls were of their mother's hatred of aging. One girl said, "Every time I wrinkle my forehead, my mother points it out and tells me not to."