Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters
By Courtney and her mom, Jere E. Martin, MSW
1. Do you think food and fitness obsession is a normal part of being a woman?
2. Does the description of the perfect girl resonate with you?
3. How does the starving daughter part of you -- your unspoken needs, fears, desire for comfort -- get expressed? Are you comfortable with this part of you? Why or why not?
4. What do you see as the biggest losses of the epidemic of eating disorders and the larger culture of food and fitness obsession?
5. How do you differentiate between healthy ambition and unhealthy perfectionism? How did your mother and/or father influence your perspective? How do you think you might influence your daughter's perspective?
6. How did your mother's relationship with her body influence your relationship with yours? What was the talk about health and beauty in your family? Was there one person whose comments were particularly influential? If so, why do you think that was?
7. Courtney writes that feminists taught their daughters that they could be anything, and that their daughters, instead, decided that they had to be everything. What do you think about that interpretation? Do you consider yourself a feminist? Why or why not? Do you think feminism means different things for different generations?
8. Courtney describes her relationship with her own father as a "walk in the park" compared