Would it be better for kids to be orphans?

What do the following people have in common: Jane Austin, Oliver Twist, Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, Littler Orphan Annie, Mowgli, Peter Pan, Bilbo and Frodo, Dorothy Gale, Heidi, the Maze Runner boys, and Harry Potter? They are all orphans. Add to that list heroines in fairy tales who were motherless and you have many of the most famous fictional characters in history. Have you ever wondered why so … [Read more...]

Girls Need Quiet Spaces to Gather Themselves

The only journey is the one within.      Ranier Marie Rilke Adolescent girls undergo the Heroine's Journey whereby they transform from a girl to a woman. One aspect of this developmental process involves metaphorically "sleeping", meaning girls need time to retreat from the world in order to  grow in wisdom and confidence until they are ready to meet the challenges of being an adult woman. This … [Read more...]

Legally Blonde: A Modern Fairy Tale

Some of my middle school girl campers encouraged me to watch the movie Legally Blonde, and I'm glad I did.  Like in the old versions of fairy tales, there are some valuable metaphors in there that are good reminders for adolescent girls. Reese Witherspoon's character, Elle, starts out as the queen bee of a sorority house, ruling the roost in a catty but powerful way.  She's willing to give … [Read more...]

A Spa Night at Camp

I just finished spending a week with 50 girls going into the 5th-9th grade at my Strong Girls Strong World Camp. When I told people what I was going to be up to, most of them rolled their eyes and and said something to the effect of: "Why would anyone want to spend a week with hormonal girls embroiled in mega-drama?" Actually, why would you NOT want to hang with girls of this age? By the way, … [Read more...]

The Death of Princesses?

I have been fascinated reading about the latest debate on princesses, this time concerning the Disneyification (I just made up a new word!)  of the lead character Merida from the movie Brave. The Disney company is adding this heroine to it's line of princess dolls, and in the process they changed her looks in a way that is not sitting well with most women. The creator of Merida, Brenda Chapman, … [Read more...]