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  • Narda Skov

"Underestimated: The Wisdom and Power of Teenage Girls" is #MediaWeLike

Updated: Mar 11

I LOVE the Representation Project and #Media We Like. As a middle school counselor and teacher for decades I showed Miss Representation and The Mask You Live in to every class I taught. These films by Jennifer Siebel-Newsom are powerful, vulnerable and a great tool for educators to to open discussions about gender, power and how we see ourselves represented in society. They also show us how we can continue to support our young people by making conversations about representation and limiting stereotypes a powerful conversation in the classroom. Representation of all people is important for young people to see who and how they can be in the world.

Below is a review of this new book "Underestimated: The Wisdom and Power of Teenage Girls". I love to highlight their good work ( I always like a good read and as a mother of two (now grown) girls, reading about empowered young people is always inspiring!

The Representation Project Book Review:

Teenage girls are frequently devalued due to their youth and their gender. Harmful stereotypes still dominate our culture related to teen girls and their interests. It needs to stop. In actuality, teenage girls have a wealth of wisdom that everyone can learn from. “Underestimated: The Wisdom and Power of Teenage Girls,” a new book by Chelsey Goodan, centers this wisdom throughout topics driven by teen girls themselves.

Author Chelsey Goodan has worked with hundreds of teenage girls as an academic tutor and mentor. “Underestimated” is evidence of the deep relationships she has cultivated through this work. Each chapter focuses on a different theme and includes actionable tips from Goodan’s experience, as well as direct insights from teen girls today. The topics Goodan explores include perfection, friends, beauty, identity, and more.

Throughout the book, Goodan gives the floor to the teens. For instance, the mainstream conversation around teens and social media tend to speak to the ways social media harms them. This is, of course, an important and crucial discussion, but it’s not the only conversation teens are having. In the chapter on “The Media,” teens recognize these impacts, but also point out social media as a source/tool of empowerment. For many, social media serves as a rare space where they can access representation they would not otherwise see.

Goodan holds space as both a mentor of teens and as a resource for their parents. Readers of all-ages can also benefit from the powerful insights from teen girls offered throughout the book’s pages. Teen girls see the world around them, and they have bold hopes and profound observations about it all. It is time that more of us start listening to them and paying genuine attention to their power and wisdom.

Take Action! “UNDERESTIMATED: The Wisdom and Power of Teenage Girls” by Chelsey Goodan is out now. #MediaWeLike

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