Synopses & Reviews
Award-winning journalist Stephanie Pierson has successfully helped her teenage daughter recover from an eating disorder. New York psychotherapist Phyllis Cohen has successfully treated body image issues of teenage girls for more than twenty-five years. The result of their collaboration is a groundbreaking, much-needed resource for mothers who are trying to help their daughters navigate the difficult years of adolescence.
Smart, straightforward, and accessible, You Have to Say I'm Pretty, You're My Mother is the first book to combine insightful thinking and hard-won wisdom with practical advice and clear answers on everything from issues as complex as the difference between disordered eating and eating disorders to those as topical as body piercing and promiscuity.
Teenage girls present their mothers with a unique set of challenges, especially where the issue of body image is concerned. The passage from childhood to adulthood is fraught with real perils for girls coming of age today; they are constantly bombarded with messages that no matter how they look, they are always falling short of some unrealistic physical ideal. In addition, they are told that they have to grow up emotionally and sexually, and do it fast. Just when a girl needs her mother's guidance the most, she is trying to separate from her mother and establish her own identity. So an innocent comment like "Isn't that skirt a little short?" can result in a storm of tears and slammed doors, effectively breaking off any communication and leaving both feeling equally alone and misunderstood.
In You Have to Say I'm Pretty, You're My Mother, Pierson and Cohen give you guidance, perspective, and hope. They'll show you how to listen to your daughter, and decode what she is really asking when she says, "Do I look particularly fat today?" They give you the real answers to the universal mother questions: "What do I do now?" and "What happened to the little girl who loved me?" They explain why every slammed door will eventually open and how to build a closer relationship.
There are sample dialogues, lists (funny and smart ones like the ten things you should never say to your daughter about sex, and just plain smart ones, like how to know if your daughter is at risk for an eating disorder), a chapter just for fathers (who are often every bit as inscrutable as their daughters), and a section of resources and reading for both parents and daughters. Picking up where Reviving Ophelia left off, this funny, wise, invaluable guide will give you the tools to help your daughter feel good about herself, body and soul.
"This is a caring, clearly even simply written volume that will undoubtedly help mothers understand the kinds of pressures their daughters feel, and enable them to face the tough adolescent years as allies rather than adversaries." Publishers Weekly
This book is the collaboration between the mother of a beautiful 17-year-old with an eating disorder and a New York psychotherapist who has worked with adolescents for over 25 years. The goal of the book is to help mothers help their daughters feel good about who they are, by helping them with their body image issues- everything from feeling fat to eating disorders to sex to depression. The better a mother understands her daughter and the more familiar she is with body image issues, the easier it becomes for her to protect her daughter from potential problems, solve existing ones, and exert a strong, positive influence on the bumpy passage from childhood to adulthood. Not to mention, get a good night's sleep occasionally.In Reviving Ophelia, Mary Pipher brilliantly laid out the issues and problems facing adolescent girls today. What she didn't do was go on from there to provide real suggestions or straightforward practical advice. As insightful as a case history or a story may be, it doesn't help a mother with her own daughter's problems. This is the book that starts up where Reviving Ophelia, leaves off.Body image issues are complex, mysterious, confusing, scary. Mothers of adolescent girls are looking for words, direction, guidance, and clarity. They want answers to the universal mother questions But what do I do now?, What can I say to her?, and How can I help her with that? Without oversimplifying issues, this book provides much needed information, insight, perspective, helpful reality checks, and pragmatic advice.
With a mix of wisdom, insight, empathy, and practical advice, this resource examines and explains a wide range of body image issues--from eating disorders and depression to piercings and sexual behavior. It gives mothers the guidance, direction, and perspective they want and the tools they need.
About the Author
Stephanie Pierson is a contributing editor for Metropolitan Home and a creative director at a New York advertising agency. Her articles have appeared in The New York Times, Saveur, Cosmopolitan, and Garden Design. Her books include You Have to Say I'm Pretty, You're My Mother (with Phyllis Cohen); Vegetables Rock!; and Because I'm the Mother, That's Why: Mostly True Confessions of Modern Motherhood.