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Dear Amy,

I am an 18 yr old College student, and I am taking a Women's Studies class. I have an assignment, called 'Manifesta' in which I'm supposed to state my overall opinion concerning feminist issues such as rape, birth control, FGM, etc. I decided to take a different approach and use Ani Difranco's song "Not a Pretty Girl" because it really speaks to me.. I'm not sure If you've heard the song, but here's a link for the lyrics: http://www.danah.org/Ani/NotAPrettyGirl/NotAPrettyGirl.html.

I really feel that ever since I was young I felt the need to look the most beautiful and stuff like that.. and now I realize how damaging that   is. I want to write about the dangers of young girls and the 'pretty girl' syndrome. Is there any good articles or books that you know of that   might help me?

Thank you!



Emilee -

I am very flattered by your assignment, though I'm not sure if it has a direct relationship to my book or not.

On your idea, which I think is good, there are a few things I can think of:1.) I just saw a short film created by Scenarious USA on body image -- it was done by a girl for girls -- www.scenariosusa.org -- also Mean Girls has elements of this and I absolutely love the film Lovely and Amazing -- it's all about this.2.) Naomi Wolf's book -- The Beauty Myth -- is the most popular on this topic, also Ophira Edut's edited collection Body Outlaws .

There are also tons of emails at Ask Amy - here's one that I just received that I would share -- it's more about weight than "pretty" - but same ideas.

Good luck and I hope these suggestions help.

— Amy

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