Back in the mutinous '60s and '70s, a much needed, oft-known second wave of feminism reared its purty head. The message? Women could be anything they wanted to be. A completely reasonable proposition but unfortunately — and like many manifestos before it — one that has been distorted over time. The not-so-fabulous truth is that grown women and growing girls struggle to cope with the distortion that women have to be everything. Women must be smart, powerful (but not too powerful!), beautiful and — at all costs — thin, thin, thin. Author and professor Courtney Martin calls this unattainable quest "the Perfect Girl Syndrome," an ugly phenomenon addressed in her new book, Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: The Frightening New Normalcy of Hating Your Body. Martin explores why women feel the need to attain total perfection and how that quest plays out in their ever-dwindling bodies. Martin graces KC at 5:30 tonight at the Health Sciences Building on the Hospital Hill campus (2220 Holmes, Room 3301, 816-404-1000) with the open lecture "Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters." She will also host a workshop titled "Teach Your Students to Stress Less and Ditch Their Inner Perfectionist" at 2 p.m. in UMKC's University Center (5000 Holmes, 816-235-1000). For more information or to register, call 816-235-1638.
Thu., Oct. 25, 5:30 p.m., 2007