On October 22, Her Campus had the privilege of co-sponsoring Panhellenic in bringing Liz Funk, a New York Times bestselling author to Miami’s campus. Her book, “Supergirls Speak Out: Inside the Secret Crisis of Overachieving Girls,” exposes the hidden lives of girls who seem to have it all — the perfect body, friend group, boyfriend, grades, etc. — by following the lives of five “Super Girls,” and providing interviews from countless others.
Funk contrasted today’s Supergirls with Cher Horowitz from the movie, “Clueless,” referring to a scene where, when asked what she did that day, Cher replied that she broke in her purple clogs. Funk pointed out that if you ask a modern day Supergirl what she did on a regular weekday, she would reply that she, “Got up early, did her hair, went to school, aced her AP Chemistry test, went to sports practice, socialized with friends and ended the night with doing homework until the wee hours of the night.” Funk’s book both examines the causes for this new breed of Super Girls and how the pressure to be a Super Girl impacts young women.
During her talk, Funk made a point that part of this evolution of Supergirls affects all girls, not just the “popular” girls. In addition, she added that a lot of Supergirls aren’t taking on a dozen extra curricular activities, volunteering and getting perfect grades for themselves, but rather for the sake of one’s appearance, she said that, “many girls have doubts if they’re good enough on their own without external factors.” Funk added that because of this, most of these Super Girls are not being themselves and said that, “it’s actually really revolutionary to be who you are.”
Another interesting point that Funk made was during the process of interviewing people for her book, she found that most of the time Supergirls were “taking small and reasonable tasks and blowing them up into huge tasks,” mostly with academics. Funk used the example of a three-page research paper assignment, saying that Supergirls would double the time spent on the assignment writing six pages and scaling back to ensure the three pages left over were the best material.
Funk’s biggest piece of advice for Supergirls (and young women in general) was that, “it’s okay to settle sometimes,” and to, “trust that the universe will provide for you.” Supergirls should put their time into the things they are most passionate about, and maybe not so much time into the things that they aren’t — they’ll produce better work and have more time for themselves. Funk also stressed that, “it is crucially important to have downtime,” speaking from both a mental and physical health standpoint. In the end the pressure to be perfect and always busy while making it all look easy is actually more damaging than letting some things slip through the cracks.