Friday, March 27, 2009


Happy Friday! It's the last full day of Spring Break around here and I'm about ready to take off for the day and live it up to the fullest before we head back home tomorrow.

But first, I'd like to introduce you to today's FREEBIE FRIDAY guest, author Liz Funk. Liz is a self-professed recovering Supergirl, i.e. "a girl who believes that in order to be happy, she must excel at her job or career, have the best grades, wear the coolest clothes, date the best-looking boy, and have the perfect body size."

In her new book, SUPERGIRLS SPEAK OUT, Liz follows five other Supergirls and discusses how their need for perfection in all things dominates their lives. She offers advice on recovering from their 'overzealous tendencies and habits' in a voice that Booklist calls "honest, urgent."

I must confess that I am a stranger to this phenomena. I'm too disorganized and mellow to get around to being an effective Supergirl and I don't understand the kind of drive that would make a girl let herself be miserable just so she could be all things to everybody. Apparently it's a very common affliction, though, especially with the kind of pressure girls are facing now. So to see what makes a Supergirl tick...
What inspired you to write Supergirls Speak Out?
Honestly, I wrote "Supergirls Speak Out" because I had to. I observed
so many young people around me in high school and college who were
consumed by the pressure to succeed... and often we'd see a "perfect
girl" in the community go on to have a mental breakdown or an eating
disorder, and I wanted to really investigate why so many girls felt
such pressure to try to be perfect and make doing everything look
easy. It's interesting that so many girls intellectually know that
being perfect is impossible and they don't need to try to look as
gorgeous as the women they see in the media, but emotionally, they
still want to adhere to these impossible standards.

When did you realize you were an overachiever?
When I wrote the proposal for Supergirls, I saw myself as a
workaholic, but not necessarily a Supergirl. But upon listening to so
many girls' stories and viewpoints, I realized that I too had a
diseased relationship to not just working, but also my approach to my
appearance, my relationships, and my goals.

Having identified the supergirl syndrome in your own life, do you
still feel the same pressure to succeed?
Honestly, yes. As I mentioned earlier, one of the ironies of being a
Supergirl is that you can intellectually know that you do enough and
that you're good enough, but you emotionally want to do more and be

What advice do you have for girls in middle school or high school
who think they have to do it all?
I think that girls need to understand that they value and that they
matter for reasons outside what they look like, what they accomplish,
and how others perceive them. They need to discover their intrinsic
worth, and develop identities outside what their communities expect
from them!

What excites you?
A really great book. I read the same ten books over and over again;
the children's book 'Eloise' is my favorite. I also love really silly
or cute movies, with Seth Rogen, Kate Husdon, and Anne Hathaway. And
a rainy day at a museum. That's probably the best the world has to
offer. Ha! The cool thing about recovering from being a Supergirl is
that you get more comfortable being eccentric.

What turns you off?
Cell phones! I wish they'd never been invented--people are so rude
with them! Sometimes when I see people talking too loudly on flip
phones, I have fantasies of grabbing their phone and smacking it
against the nearest hard surface. I have a BlackBerry that I'm
admittedly rather addicted to, but I'm always discreet with it and
never use it in movie theaters or at the dinner table or at parties.

If you could invite anyone you wanted - living or dead - to hang
out with you at a weekend retreat, who would you invite and why?
I would have loved to have met the feminist Betty Friedan. She wrote
the book the Feminine Mystique and she arguably started the second
wave of feminism in the 1960's. I think she would be so interesting
to talk to!

What's one thing most people don't know about you?
I love to paint! In my spare time, I make paintings on canvas with
acrylic paints. They're rarely very good or even look like what I set
out to paint, but I love doing it.

What's your favorite quote?
"It was a musical thing, and there was supposed to be singing and
dancing while the music was being played." It's from this youtube

Milk Chocolate or Dark?
Milk. I actually don't like dark chocolate at all! And I'm weird
about my chocolate stuff; I don't like chocolate flavored things, like
ice cream or cake. I just like the real thing!
Liz is offering a signed copy of SUPERGIRLS SPEAK OUT to one lucky FREEBIE FRIDAY reader. To be entered to win, leave a comment below telling me what you think about Supergirls. Are you a Supergirl? Do you envy them? Feel sorry for them? Know any personally?
This contest will remain open until Tuesday.

P.S. I'll apologize right up front because I won't be around today or tomorrow to monitor or respond to your comments, so I'm trusting you to play nice and keep it PG. I'll be back Sunday to check in. Meanwhile, have a great weekend!