Reviving Girlhood with Mary Pipher & Sara Pipher Gilliam


Manage episode 238289824 series 2485044
By Strong Feelings, Katel LeDû, and Sara Wachter-Boettcher. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

When Mary Pipher first published Reviving Ophelia in 1994, she changed the way America thinks about teenage girls and their needs. Now she’s back with a new 25th anniversary edition of her landmark book—this time, published with her own daughter, Sara Pipher Gilliam.

From student debt to school shootings to climate change to digital culture, a lot has changed for teen girls in the past 25 years. But many things remain the same: body image issues, anxiety, sexual harassment and abuse. We sat down with Pipher (who you may remember from the spring, when she came on to discuss [women, friendship, and aging](link to ep)) and Gilliam to talk about what teen girls experience today, what it was like to write a book together, and why it matters so much for all of us that we change our “girl-poisoning culture.”

There’s a strange way in which girls today are never together and never alone. And so the primary building blocks of self—which is to be interacting face-to-face with other people and to be alone reflecting and developing one’s own inner strength—those aren’t occurring right now.
Mary Pipher, co-author of Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls, 25th Anniversary Edition

We chat about:

  • How the culture we remember as teen girls in the ‘90s is so very different for teens today
  • Why depression among teen girls has gone up and down over the years, where it stands now, and what social media has to do with it
  • How Sara Gilliam went from reading her mom’s book for teen authenticity 25 years ago to co-authoring the update with her as an adult
  • The ways today’s teen girls helped update Reviving Ophelia for modern times
  • How it’s too late for parents and teachers to simply tell teens to stop using smartphones, so it’s important to encourage intentionality around social media and device usage instead



  • Why we simply had to get our driver’s licenses immediately
  • Exploring the love/hate relationship we had with our early jobs
  • Why you need to wear at least two hemp necklaces for school pictures
  • Fuck yeah to naps and Netflix breaks during the day

81 episodes