By the ripe old age of 9, the average girl will feel as good as she's ever going to feel about herself. After that, her self-esteem starts to take a nosedive, from which she may never fully recover. Why does her self-esteem follow this disheartening trajectory? Why are so many girls and women plagued by feelings of self-doubt? Whether we're aware of it or not, we live in a culture that still values, trusts, and empowers males over females. Our traditions, politics, language, laws, media, and school curriculums are all rooted in a value system that perpetuates messages of female weakness, dependence and inferiority. We tell girls and women every day that they are less valuable than males, incapable of leadership and not worthy of being respected as equals. These messages deeply impact a girl's sense of value and her ability to thrive. By the time she enters adolescence, she becomes susceptible to poor academic performance, depression, eating disorders, bullying, risky sexual behavior, and simply feeling 'not good enough.' Though these dire consequences affect girls and women most directly, they are detrimental to us all. Like any team on which half the players are unable to perform to their fullest potential, this state of affairs leaves our whole society functioning at a deficit. The good news is that because we created this reality, we also have the ability to create it differently.
9 WAYS is a revolutionary guide for parents and anyone who cares about the well-being of girls. It is dedicated to shedding much-needed light on the root causes of the self-esteem crisis, the ways we are unknowingly contributing to it, and what we can do to ensure that every girl (and future woman) is empowered to live up to her full potential. Drawing from more than 20 years of experience working with girls and women, Anea Bogue provides both insight and specific action steps that empower the reader to help create a world in which the female half of our 'team' is consistently capable of thriving mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.