Other girls do just the opposite they too use

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Other girls do just the opposite. They too use reference groups, but instead of changing themselves to fit in with the popular crowd, they change themselves to stand out. The problem with this is they are still changing their true selves, and often they are still changing to fit in with some group, even if it isn’t the popular one. One of Pipher’s patients “was dressed in a way that signaled ‘I am different’ with her head half shaved and half purple punk” (161). While these girls have made some progress by understanding they do not want to be part of the in crowd, they still end up changing their true selves to stand out.The changing of themselves can sometimes be attributed to Cooley’s Looking Glass Self. He said that our sense of self develops from interaction with others. We imagine how we appear to others, interpret others reactions, and based upon this, we form a self-concept. This self-concept can be positive or negative. Often times
the girls develop a negative self-concept and thus feel a need to change who they are to gain approval. Pipher says, “girls are socialized to let others do the defining” (257). By judging themselves solely on interactions with others, girls give up the ability to be who they truly are.One sociological perspective that is mentioned but is not incredibly prominent in this book is genocide. Some girls who are savvier with the events going on in the world react to things such as genocide with the emotion of a young child. This often leads them to depression or cynicism about the world. Pipher had a patient who saidshe “felt that [she didn't want to be part of a species that produced Nazis] when sheread that Stalin killer even more people than Hitler….She said the ‘Holocaust wasn’tan isolated event. It happens all over” (163).These girls are mature enough to know about genocide and be disgusted by it, but are not emotionally mature enough to respond to the problem in an adult way. Instead, they channel all that negativity onto themselves and lose their faith in the rest of the world. With this lost faith comes the “I don’t care attitude” that leads girls to take drugs or use alcohol at a very young age.In groups and out groups also play a huge role in this book and in the lives of young girls. Often, young girls feel an incredible urge to be a part of the in group because they want to feel a sense of loyalty to a group and have people with whom to bond.With in groups, however, comes tension and often peer pressure. Rosemary “hated the pressure”. She “felt close to her friends, but she admitted that friendships were difficult. She worried about betrayal and rejections” (98). Many girls want to be a part of the in-group so they are not targeted for being in the out-group. Being in the out-group means being an outsider who is often seen only as having flaws. They become victims of hate and prejudice as created by the in-group.

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