GROWING UP FEMALE: New Challenges, New Choices by Lucinda Irwin Smith

GROWING UP FEMALE: New Challenges, New Choices

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A potpourri of history and advice for today's adolescents. Beginning with an account of where we've come from, journalist Smith retraces the forces that have brought American women to their present choices, and explores future options. Her analysis includes first-person revelations by women in varied lifestyles--career women with/without children, a divorced mother, a single woman, etc. Some of the women offering personal views are celebrities, including Billy Jean King, Cheryl Tiegs, and Peggy Fleming. Other segments include personality-quizzes and checklists, the importance of decision-making, a look at relationships, and ""the way you look and feel."" Smith also has some unusual inclusions here--a worthwhile segment on the value of solitude, a history of makeup, an interview with a female rabbi, and knowledgeable pages on anorexia nervosa and bulimia. Unfortunately, though, the book feels somewhat disorganized; the chapters are overly long, and overly crammed; and the target age is uncertain--one moment the simplicity feels young, as in an explanation of decision-making, ""Almost every action is the result of a decision. We decide what time to get up, what to eat for breakfast, and what to wear for the day,"" but more complex topics include networking for young teens or questions that will be unanswerable for years (e.g., referring to coupled adult life, ""Would you ever take separate vacations?""). Young women will probably approach this teen guide with fairly good general interest; in showing that today's modes didn't come out of a bottle or can, Smith makes the history of what today's youngsters do, wear, and choose easily enjoyable. Index.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1987
Page count: 156pp
Publisher: Messner