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Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and Other Realities of Adolescence
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Archive: Other Books > Queen Bees and Wannabes - Rosalind Wiseman (3 stars) (DECATHLON)

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Cora (corareading) | 1456 comments Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and Other Realities of Adolescence by Rosalind Wiseman

3 stars

In Queen Bees and Wannabes, the author investigates girl cliques throughout adolescence. He identifies the different roles girls play in cliques and helps parents find ways to help their daughters navigate them and stand up for themselves. She also devotes chapters on sex, drugs, and alcohol in the high school years. I found parts of the book more helpful than others. There are times when the author makes it seems like all girls have these problems and if you don't agree with that you are in denial or naive. This bothered me a bit because it was nothing like my experience growing up (for me or my close friends). I knew cliques existed. I know there were people that partied and obsessed over boys, but that was far from the only path girls and boys traveled at my school. I don't think that I was an anomaly. I think this book does offer helpful suggestions for girls and their parents that are experiencing problems with these issues, but some of the assertions seemed outdated or based on anecdotal evidence rather than real data. For example, there was a bit about how youtube was a problem because girls could see music videos on the platform and that this will influence how girls view how they should look and act. I agree popular culture can have a negative effect on girls and that youtube can be a problem, but my experience has been that music videos are the least of the issue on the platform. In fact, I don't think any of my kids or their friends have an interest in music videos they way we did when I was in school. The same goes for fashion magazines. Although fashion blogs and online information can be a problem, I don't think my daughter or any of her friends would even consider buying a paper magazine. In short, this had helpful information that parents should read and be aware of, I just wish that it didn't have a tone of all girls react this way, do these things. A lot of kids do, but there are also those that don't.


message 2: by Karin (last edited Jun 17, 2018 01:45PM) (new) - added it

Karin | 7472 comments You were most likely in a group like my sister or like my high school group. My sister sailed through school being harassed exactly once.

Had I been rating books when I read this I might have rated this a bit higher than you but there were some over-generalizations. I agree that not all girls fall into these categories, particularly in later high school I was in what might be called the friendly group and we didn't have a queen bee, etc, and at any time. That said, I saw a lot of this in middle school and I went before the time she is talking about.

I agree that music videos are not as big of a problem as she said, since MTV didn't come out until I was in university. BUT I do think fashion magazines and teen magazines have a big influence--not on every girl equally, and now, of course, it's more seen on TV and the internet than in magazines. Bear in mind that in the 1970s you had far shorter and fewer fashion trends--those TV shows set in those eras tend to mix styles up in a way no teen or young person would have ever done if they could possibly afford not to, so fashion rules were strict, and in most of the schools I went to (4 high schools in 5 years) it was exactly like that. One, in San Francisco, had a bit more variation due to the very large student body (2700 kids in 3 grades).

That said, I am grateful that there was no social media and internet when I was growing up as that has made bullying spread into a larger part of people's lives with little escape.


message 3: by Joi (last edited Jun 19, 2018 03:19PM) (new)

Joi (missjoious) | 3834 comments I've thought about reading this because it supposedly inspired the movie 'Mean Girls', but never have.

100% agree about the subjective high school experience. It seems weird to generalize in such broad strokes, when obviously everyone's experience will be different. Our school had a lot of cliques, but there were still many, including myself, who were able to ebb and flow between groups, and many who were NOT partaking in sex, drugs, or alcohol. Plus I can't think anyone who would be considered a "queen bee".

Maybe the book is showing its age with the music video thing....


message 4: by Karin (last edited Jun 19, 2018 03:23PM) (new) - added it

Karin | 7472 comments Joi wrote: "I've thought about reading this because it supposedly inspired the movie 'Mean Girls', but never have.

100% agree about the subjective high school experience. It seems weird to generalize in such..."


The movie Mean Girls really doesn't do much good for the book--the book is better. I think there are good points made in the book and food for thought, because Queen Bees like that really do exist, although certainly not in every social group in high school, as do wannabes. It's just one of those books you need to take with a grain of salt. As I said, I think some of the things are for all generations, but like ANY book on people, social groups, psychology, sociology, it has to be taken with a grain of salt and know that people can't all be lumped into a set number of categories, etc.


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