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The Curse of the Good Girl: Raising Authentic Girls with Courage and Confidence
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The Curse of the Good Girl: Raising Authentic Girls with Courage and Confidence

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  1,066 ratings  ·  194 reviews
Bestselling author of Odd Girl Out, Rachel Simmons exposes the myth of the Good Girl, freeing girls from its impossible standards and encouraging them to embrace their real selves

In The Curse of the Good Girl, bestselling author Rachel Simmons argues that in lionizing the Good Girl we are teaching girls to embrace a version of selfhood that sharply curtails their power and
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published August 25th 2009 by Penguin Press HC, The (first published July 23rd 2009)
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 ·  1,066 ratings  ·  194 reviews

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Mar 15, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This is tough. It's easy to say: "I'm okay with people not liking me." Or "Oh, bec. I'm not a good girl, that's why people don't like me." I know, bec. for the most part I don't care what people think of me. And yet I find myself doing some of these things. Reading this book, I suddenly observed "good girl" interactions everywhere. On one occasion, I was distracted and slow to answer a question from another female. The other woman got upset and left the room. I had just met her and started ...more
Apr 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Wow. I never write reviews but really felt to need to for this one so forgive me if it is a bit choppy.

This is such a great book for anyone with a daughter or works with adolescent girls. This book talks about the pressure young girls (and women) face to be a "good girl", one who is always nice and selfless, and how being that "good girl" actually leads to a loss of self and empowerment.

The author first makes her case against the Good Girl. Discussing how in her attempt to always be nice,
Mar 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
Original review here:

Shortly before the big move, TLC Book Tours contacted me about reviewing The Curse of the Good Girl by Rachel Simmons on my blog. My first inclination was to say, "No, thank you. Too much on my plate right now." But then I read the book's description and, as a mother of girls, I thought I shouldn't pass up the opportunity.

When Joel and I first turned the key in our new home, the book was already waiting for me to begin reading.

As I
Oct 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
When I first started reading this, I couldn't relate at all. Who are these girls and why are they acting this way??

Then I realized that while I don't have "the curse of the good girl", it totally explains why I have had problems working in all female environments and relating to most women; they have the "curse".

I especially enjoyed the chapter about education. When I was a teacher I was on both ends of the issues related to the curse-parents who would complain that their child didn't think I
Jan 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: parenting
I've been procrastinating writing this review because I want to do the book justice-- really condense the gems of insight and convey the lights that Simmons turned on in my brain, but I realize I can't actually overstate how important this book is. So please, if you are a woman, if you are raising women, if you care about anyone who is a woman, please read this book.

It's funny how certain books and ideas and images converge. I read this while reading Mothering and Daughtering by Reynolds and
Oct 08, 2013 rated it it was ok
The first part of this book is almost interesting--why do girls communicate the way they do? Especially in high school? What are those weird passive-aggressive girl fights about? Why is it so hard for teenage girls to communicate with each other in a healthy way? This book offers a tiny insight (hence the 2 stars) to why: girls are obsessed with being "good". But it doesn't get into it nearly enough.

Where do girls get the idea of what a "good girl" is? It's not just TV and their mom. I actually
Apr 15, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommended to Gwen by: Goodreads
Shelves: feminism
As a 20-something childfree woman, I am clearly not the target demographic for this book--but now I completely recognize the vestiges of my "Good Girl" adolescence. A good chunk of this book reiterates things I've read elsewhere (especially in Frankel's "Good Girls Don't Get the Corner Office), but the action items give me concrete steps forward to fully break out of this persona.

1) Dealing with conflict/confrontational situations (188-189):
-Affirm the relationship
-Use an "I statement"
-Say your
Mar 20, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: life-coach
I more or less scanned the book to mine for useful bits. It's more applicable to the teenager set but did get some good ideas to think about, especially when modeling your own behavior for your daughter. How a mom uses/expresses her own feelings and communicates in her relationships become part of the "emotional management" repertoire for your daughter. And how parents manage and affirm their daughter's emotions can help build self-worth and confidence. As you develop your self as a person it's ...more
Lacey N.
Oct 16, 2009 rated it liked it
Even though I'm not a mother, I was a adolescent girl at one point in my life and I am, of course, a daughter. I am also a former public school teacher and I instantly recognized many of the girls in Rachel Simmons' THE CURSE OF THE GOOD GIRL: RAISING AUTHENTIC GIRLS WITH COURAGE AND CONFIDENCE. The often contradictory quest to be the ultimate "good girl"--soemone who is universally liked, always amiable and willing to play by the rules -- is supressing girls' abilities to develop themselves as ...more
Carolynn M
Aug 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
So far, it is a very interesting book. I got the copy to review, but I specifically asked for this one because I am uniquely qualified to review it at this point in my life being a mom to an almost 14 year old daughter. Some of the concepts and hypothesis laid out in the first couple of chapters are very interesting, and ring very true. Too true.
Rabbit {Paint me like one of your 19th century gothic heroines!}
Nov 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents or future parents of girls
I enjoyed this book, and it raised some really good points.

Though it's not really relevant to my life, since I am not a teenager, nor am I a parent, so I am planning on donating this to the local library, unless someone wants to exchange this book for another book with me?
Jan 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction, dull
This book had some good info, but the time I took to read it should tell you how long and repetitive it was.

Unlike Odd Girl Out, which was interesting the whole way through, challenged my ways of thinking, and was different one section to the next, the Curse of the Good Girl is hardly any fun and just seems like the expanded version of the end of Odd Girl Out. It's very repetitive, offers no info that we didn't know from reading Odd Girl Out, and doesn't have that feel of insight and discovery.

Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Second time reading, first time with the audiobook. This is the kind of book that I like to revisit a lot. It's focus is teenage girls, but I find much of what it teaches about the lack of emotional understanding that they have extends into adulthood. And is very relevant to behavior in adulthood. Highly recommend this to anyone who has been or currently is in communities dominated by women, especially middle class white women.
Cass -  Words on Paper
Very enlightening. Helped me analyse and make peace with my own bringing up, too. Hopefully I can use a lot of what I learnt in this book when/if I have my own daughter/s. I wonder if there are any other resources out there that can complement this one.
May 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
I don't necessarily like the title of this book or her overarching conclusions - including conclusions on the societal pressure to be a "good girl." The first 3rd of the book is fairly long and pretty wordy.

I also usually avoid books like this, because they are oftentimes annoying and depressing, but I did not find that to be true of this book. What this book did do was offer practical ideas and questions to ask oneself and one's daughter for better communication. It also goes over the
Nancy Mehegan
Aug 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
The Curse of the Good Girl"" by Rachel Simmons

Do Naughty Girls Go Far?

I wish I had this book when I as 14 years old! High School seemed a blur of emotions and a feeling of overwhelm.

Good Girl Myth

Simmons exposes the “myth of the Good Girl”—a paradigm characterized by being unerringly nice, polite, modest, and selfless—arguing that we are teaching our girls in ways that limit their power and potential.

Girls Give Away Their Power

Society provides confusing messages to girls. As young children
Feb 19, 2012 rated it liked it
I thought this book had a lot of good information in the beginning and in the end, but got a little repetitive and boring for me in the middle. I did like the issues she brought up about how girls "work" in relationships and inappropriately treat all relationships as friendships, how they talk, and their self-talk. It was an interesting read to me as both a mother of two girls and also as a woman myself. I really liked her section at the end about how mothers are grown up versions of "good ...more
Kate Schwarz
Sep 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
For those recovering good girls (turned moms, or just adults) or those parents or coaches of good girls, this is well worth the read.

Simmons is a no-nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is author who knows what she's talking about. She outlines and explains the good girl culture for those of us several decades from the know. She tells us what she sees at her Girls Leadership Institute and the theory behind it. In the last section of the book, she gives practical advice on changing the norms within our
Shannon Hedges
Dec 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
I loved Simmons' other novel, and this one was also quite good. Referencing Aaron Beck and Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, two researchers whose work was crucial for my thesis concerning depressive symptoms in early adolescent girls, gives her bonus points. I think the following line from her book sums it up nicely: When kindness comes at the expense of truth, it is not a kindness worth having, and when generosity leads to silence or abuse, it is not a generosity worth giving.

The curse is very real and
Oct 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I went into this book thinking I used to be a good girl, but I realized, I wasn't really a good girl in my late teens and early twenties, I was just very immature and didn't really grow up until late. I think I've matured very much in the last three years and what this book taught me about being a self-described good girl and how to change that, also taught me about how to be a "real" mother to a daughter if I ever have kids. I think I'm more assertive now though, though I think I did and still ...more
Lisa Butterworth
Jan 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: brain-books
It's really nice to have a lot of the problematic "good girl" behaviors laid bare. I'm so caught up in my culture, it's easy not to notice that I'm being passive aggressive or teaching my girls not to share their negative emotions. I appreciated this book bringing these sorts of things into sharp focus. My one critique of the book is that it felt a little repetitive at times, and I tended to skim some of the examples.
Oct 04, 2009 rated it did not like it
I really tried but wasn't able to finish this book. It seemed too canned. I felt that I was reading something for a second time. I would have prefered more factual studies and evidence. It just seemed that the author was cashing in on the feminist movement. Sorry.
Feb 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult-books
Geez, this is me. Maybe I can prevent my daughter from some of my bad tendencies.
Kathleen Helms
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great book! This is a must read for all women and especially parents of daughters. I am so glad I read this. Some things I learned:
Three core skills to emotional intelligence: knowing what I feel; expressing how I feel (gets people to do things for me); accepting my emotions (then I validate my right to feel the way I do). (Chapter 1) When I expect people to read my mind or get my hints, it is an unfair expectation on others. My relationships become frustrating and distant. YES!

Aug 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I would highly recommend this book to all the women in my life. It is geared more towards mothers helping their daughters than I realized it would be, but I figure I can still apply everything directly to myself. I don't think all the struggles Simmons discusses are limited to girls (some of them I have seen in girls and boys in my own work with middle schoolers, particularly the fear of making mistakes). She touches on this though which I appreciated, and then returns the focus to girls since ...more
Michael Silverman
If you are a parent of a burgeoning adolescent girl, you NEED to read this book. Rachel Simmons has very clearly identified a ever increasing problem in the way we (as parents and as a society) are raising young women. How do I know this? As a licensed psychologist in NYC, who works with some of the most successful women in the country, I see the fallout every day. Exceptionally bright, academically successful young women, who have no capacity to take the risks necessary to reach "that next ...more
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Life-changing for girls and women
I learned a lot of critical life lessons from this book - and I'm an adult!

I borrowed this book because I recognized a lot of myself in the archetype of the Good Girl - unable to understand or express feelings; people pleasing; unable to articulate desires, and generally feeling disconnected from what I wanted in my relationships.

The author has several strategies, that I found were practically explained and realistic for everyday
155.433 SIM
CD 155.433 SIM founder: Rachel Simmons

My Review: worth reading, probe internal emotion world of girls. Parents who want to guide their daughter to form a strong health mental health should read it.

Part I: A map of the good girl world
Part II: Breaking the curse

p41 The landscape of girls' assumption
assuming intention: I know why this happening
assuming the worst
assuming emotions: I know how she feels
she should know how I feel

Chap 3: Girls in confrontation
Shame; I did
Becki Johnson
Jul 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
As I read about the curse of the good girl I couldn’t help being reminded of the result of the curse written about in Genesis of the Bible. I don’t think the characteristics described in this book are apart of girls because of pressure from society so much as being a part of who they are even at birth. Some of the characteristics I was able to identify in my daughter even while she was a baby. It is not just pressure from society that brings about these characteristics. Changing society will ...more
Cj Sime
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I am surprised this book isn't rated as high by others as by myself. The book was well written and organized and facilitated a much greater understanding of some of my preconditioned interactions that I may be spreading to my daughter. I love that it teaches reframing of anything less than praise. I also found the examples to clarify each lesson the author was teaching. I even had my 13 year old daughter read some parts and she was able to easily grasp some of the finer nuances women display in ...more
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