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What makes us Girls

Posted by Elizabeth H. | Found in: Secondary

What makes us girls by Brittany Pettibone, examines the topic of self-worth through a modern cultural lens.

Pettibone analyses the top seven issues girls face during their journey to finding their self-worth; comparison, rejection, bullying, inauthenticity, purposelessness, betrayal and guilt.

In this book, the author provides us with stories from both her own life experience and the life experiences of a variety of other girls, to show how we all face the challenge of finding self-worth, but all in different ways.

For example, when she was involved in political YouTube, she says that she had to become ‘Humble enough to acknowledge human imperfection’, because she found herself worn out trying to reach expectations of fellow youtubers and trying to impress her viewers. At one point, she even opted out of a family holiday to spend the weekend working in order to reach work deadlines.

As a student, it’s difficult to find balance in the world of ATAR pressure and a social life. I learnt that if we find our self-worth in grades and put all out energy into achieving perfect results, we will find that “In detaching ourselves from families and friends, we become easy prey”. When we don’t achieve the results we expect of ourselves, or when even when we do achieve that ‘perfect’ grade, we find that it’s never fully satisfies us, that we can always do better, aim higher, score more marks.

In this book Pettibone notes, “When we ignore the development of our true selves for the sake of acceptance, sooner or later, even if it’s years down the road, we’ll eventually notice a whole in our souls. We won’t know how to fill the whole, only that it needs to be filled”.

 ‘What makes us girls’ is a deep and reflective book which highlights many key issues involving self-worth. No matter our cultural background, age or experience, every girl in the world will struggle to find their self-worth.

 “Some of us will win and some of us will lose. But those of us who win will do so for two reasons: because we are able to see the battle for what it is, and even more importantly, because we have the right weapons to fight it.”


Elizabeth H. (Student)