The Girl Revolution Book Review Week – Willow


I have all these books lying around the house guilting me every time I walk by. Whether I request the book or not, I feel guilty if I don’t write about a free book. So, this is Book Review Week at The Girl Revolution.

Willow, for instance. It’s a fictional account of cutting. You know when a girl experiences self-loathing to such a degree that she cuts her own body with knives or razors. She does this habitually and compulsively.

I do not want to read this book. I’m sure it’s great. The only experience I’ve ever had with cutting was in high school, when we moved to a new town and the only girl who wanted to be my friend invited me to her home. She showed me her scarred and cut-up arms and legs. She informed me she would just have plastic surgery when she grew up. She also believed her father was secretly Jim Morrison and his witch girlfriend.

I just didn’t know what to do with that. I still don’t.”Why do girls’ cut and how can we fix it?”

Its self-loathing and an inability to accept one’s self as they are. Period. The same cause of eating disorders, depression, anxiety,

If you trace all the dysfunctions and psychological issues girls’ face back to its source, I’m becoming convinced it’s all self-loathing and an inability to accept one’s self.

The cure is to teach your daughter that she’s good enough as she is. The best way to do that is to get to a place where YOU are good enough as you are.

Simple, yet the opposite of easy.

98 replies
  1. anonymous says:

    Hi Girl Revolution, I love this site! It scares me to read what I read on it, but I am very happy that we have you to discuss these issues, and raise awareness, I hope many parents and educators read it, and pass the word.

    You mention cutting and eating disorders.

    I would like to address this issues and speak up, as a person that has bulimia, among other things. An eating disorder is not simply a result of ‘not accepting oneself’ nor simply a reaction to a society that over-emphasis thinness and an impossible body image. An eating disorder is often about control. It is a coping skill, a cycle where we go out of control, then by purging we attempt to gain control. It is not necessarily a desire to become thin, so much as a desire to reclaim something that we feel should be ours- our body. Our body seems so devalued by the media, by other people, and by people that may have molested or abused us. It is objectified.

    Cutting, from what I have understood is a similar cycle. In a way ‘this is my body I shall do with it as I please’ and also ‘I hate my body’. In addition to that, cutting is a release, like the purging in bulimia, you feel the intense pain and anguish that has built up and finally a release. It also stops everything that is going on in your head, and you are fully present- that pain bringing you sharply there. Then you are exhausted, and finally feel tired and depleted.

    So cutting and eating disorders are, yes a self-loathing but also an attempt to gain control, reclaim our bodies that feel objectified and criticised, and a cycle of tension building up from daily stressors that compound our issues, and then a form of release, and even forced rest. A ‘hi’ and a ‘low.’ I hope that sheds some light, on an issue that is more complex than it seems.

  2. Valya says:

    Hi, love the blog!

    I just wanted to add to this post a little. When I was a teenager, I cut myself, not with a knife, but with the fingernails I had grown so long that they could break my skin. I was perfectly happy with myself and my body, but I did it because I had no other way to express my anger and frustration. I had a diary, but writing it down wasn’t enough, I had to feel the anger coming out. The pain felt good to me. I felt that if I told anyone they would mock me, and I just couldn’t bring myself to show any emotions.

    Sorry for the long comment, but that’s my answer to your question.

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