For more than a decade, girl power has been a cultural barometer, reflecting girlhood’s ever-changing meanings. How did girl power evolve from a subcultural rallying cry to a mainstream catchphrase, and what meaning did young girls find in its pop culture forms? From the riot grrrls to the Spice Girls to
The Powerpuff Girls, and influenced by books like
Reviving Ophelia and movements like Take Our Daughters to Work Day,
Growing Up With Girl Power charts this history. It considers how real girls who grew up with girl power interpreted its messages about empowerment, girlhood, strength, femininity, race, and more, and suggests that for young girls, commercialized girl power had real strengths and limitations – sometimes in fascinating, unexpected ways. Encompassing issues of pre-adolescent body image, gender identity, sexism, and racism,
Growing Up With Girl Power underscores the importance of talking with young girls, and is a compelling addition to the literature on girls, media, and culture. Supplemental resources are available online at GrowingUpWithGirlPower.com.