Supergirls Speak Out: Liz Funk on NBC Today, Tomorrow!

supergirls2Feb. 9, 2009 In the ‘takes one to know one’ category, I have to throw my own overachiever support behind young SuperGirl Liz Funk who has spent the last couple years detailing the ‘pressure to be perfect’ among teenage girls.

Shaping Youth is one of the ‘book tour stops’ for SuperGirls Speak Out, and I’d slated Liz closer to her debut March 3rd, but in typical ‘overachiever’ mode, she’s coming out of the shoot early garnering media exposure tomorrow morning on the Today show (during the 8am hour) so the book publishers are scrambling to get SuperGirls into stores as early as next week, and it’s online now already!

As you can see by her press and former Times Union blogging gig in Albany N.Y. which has transitioned to her new blog here,  she’s a passionista with like-minded concerns, and has been shaking up the online media world since about age 16.

Liz will address some of the disease to please factors that go into the restrictive ideals facing Generation Y girls (from bodies to BFs, career paths and more) and she’ll be joined on tomorrow’s show by UC Berkeley psychologist Stephen Hinshaw, Ph.D. who has a brand new book launch tomorrow which I’m eager to read, called The Triple Bind: Saving Our Teenage Girls from Today’s Pressures.


What exactly constitutes The Triple Bind?

“Societal expectations, cultural trends, and conflicting messages”…

…And boy can I attest to same in OUR research (not to mention in my own home!)

“Girls are now expected to excel at “girl skills,” achieve “boy goals,” and be models of female perfection, 100% of the time,” reads the Amazon descriptor.

Yipes. No wonder my daughter expresses the desire to ‘get the heckoutta dodge’ sometimes, or in playground parlay of yesteryear, wants a ‘do-over’…in ‘free to be me’ mode.

According to his book write up, “The Triple Bind is putting more and more girls at risk for aggression, eating disorders, depression, and even suicide.”

Um…okay…now you’re makin’ me really nervous here, folks…

I need a copy of this pronto for media analysis to discern the data…

I’ll definitely want to approach Dr. Hinshaw (Psychology Department Chair at UCB) to compare anecdotal and empirical research notes regarding overlap with Shaping Youth’s hands-on enrichment programs and what we’re seeing…

Liz Funk is a bit further away being in N.Y. but I have a prescient feeling her voice will be a strong one so we’ve vowed to be in touch via Skype and beyond…

respectrallyI see she’s already aligned with Courtney Macavinta et al at Respect Rx so yay!

Courtney’s doing FABulous work with her Respect Rx Rallies so touch base in your city if you want to ‘get trained’ to be the change and run one!

Meanwhile, set your Tivos to tune in tomorrow on Today (and check out the family blog, called “All Day” if they post SuperGirls Speak Out and Triple Bind…

I just talked to Liz’ publicist, Shida Carr, in ‘have your people call my people’ mode, (um, in my case, as a nonprofit, that would be me, myself and I!) because my guess is Liz will be busy prepping for her big day and I didn’t want to deluge her with email queries…

I found out that there will also be a downloadable ebook, and they’ll push up the “in store delivery” to next week bumping forward from the March 3rd release.

lizI’m hoping this vibrant young “teen turned 2o ” is able to focus, take deep breaths, and maybe soothe in a calming lavender bubble bath tonight to get ready for the ‘onslaught.’

Good luck, Liz…

Take your own advice in stepping off the SuperGirls expectations track and share your intimate knowledge of this ‘invisible crisis’ firsthand…we already know how super you are! Like a magic cape worn thin, we’re all starting to ‘show up’ in various iterations of this impossible ideal…Like I said before, it ‘takes one to know one.’

I have much to learn from you.

About SuperGirls Speak Out by Liz Funk:

…”Drawing from investigative research, candid interviews, personal anecdotes, and medical evidence, Funk discusses the dangerous effects of the phenomenon. Her book reveals ambitious, stressed-out women whose drive overwhelms every aspect of their lives: their body image, diet, exercise, school schedule, career choices, romantic relationships, and interactions with family and friends. Funk’s research reveals that Supergirls often feel the need to compete against not only everyone else, but themselves—a destructive habit that leads to depression and other emotional disorders.

By closely following five girls and surveying almost a hundred more, Funk explains the root causes of the phenomenon, illustrates how it is affecting society at large, and shows other Supergirls how they can recover from their overzealous tendencies and habits….”

Related Posts on Shaping Youth by Amy Jussel

Body Blitz: APA Study Shows Harm of Early Sexualization

Can New Media Curb Anxiety in Stressed Out Students?

Pussycat Dolls Vamp for Lame TV: The F word is Feminist? C’mon!

Girls As Boy Toys Takes A Toxic Turn:  Media, Shaping Youth

Buffed Boy Body Image & Teen Scene Hottie Factor

Consuming Kids: Supporting CCFC’s Efforts

NetFamily News Flags Cyberbullying Stats

MultiTasking for Studious Souls: Mobile Flashcards & More

Kids See How You’re Smart: Using the 8 Intelligences

Too many to name, so just check our sidebar under body image, emerging trends, and other relevant articles! Meanwhile:

Early Praise for SuperGirls Speak Out Via the Simon & Schuster beta site

(I’m including this for the book list alone! –whoa, I haven’t read these! AJ)

From Diets to Dating, From the Boardroom to the Delivery Room:

“Liz Funk has written a smart, insightful and important book for every woman who thinks she has to do–and be–it all. Women of all ages will benefit from this highly readable, highly enjoyable read.”– Abby Ellin, author of Teenage Waistland: A Former Fat Kid Weighs in on Living Large, Losing Weight and How Parents Can (and Can’t) Help

“Liz Funk exposes the dark side of high-achieving young women – and what lies behind their desire to be perfect – with sympathy and candor. Parents may freak out at first read but girls will say, ‘Ohmigod, that is so true.’ Supergirls will jump-start a conversation between generations that is long overdue.”– Laura Sessions Stepp, author of Unhooked: How Young Women Pursue Sex, Delay Love and Lose at Both

“Hey Supergirls, put down next month’s assignment and pick up this book instead! Liz Funk is like a wise, chatty, funny big sister. She offers indispensable advice about how to stay sane in the face of seemingly endless pressures. Read this book to put your life in perspective.”– Leora Tanenbaum, author of Slut! Growing Up Female with a Bad Reputation and Catfight: Rivalries Among Women

“Too many young women feel enormous pressure to attain unrealistic standards of perfection in every area of their lives. The emotional toll is often damaging — and can be life-threatening. With Supergirls Speak Out, Liz Funk performs an invaluable service by examining this serious problem and exploring what we can do to help young women lead healthier, happier lives.” — Leslie Bennetts, author of The Feminine Mistake: Are We Giving Up Too Much?

“Liz Funk’s refreshing candor, rigorous research, and dynamic, accessible tone help carry her important message to the young women who need it most.” — Janice Erlbaum, author of Girlbomb and Have You Found Her?

wow. Looks like I’ve got MORE reading to do. (Nightstand piled high and groaning from the weight)

More on the SuperGirls Speakout website, Liz Funk’s blog, and soon on Shaping Youth when she stops on her virtual book tour! Tune in, and I’ll try to repost a video feed if I snag it tomorrow…



  1. I’m still disappointed that our children seem so obsessed with how they look instead of what’s in their minds and keep up the great work..wanted to stop by and say hello..

    I’m in remission and doing great…hope it lasts forever..
    I have so much more to do…
    Dorothy from grammology

    Dorothy Stahlnecker’s last blog post..There’s a Bully in his school

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