We are the peacemakers, the do-gooders, the givers, the savers. We are on time, overly prepared, well read and witty, intellectually curious, always moving.
We are living contradictions. We are socially conscious, cultivated, and anticorporate, but we still shop at Gap and Banana Republic. We make documentary films, knit sweaters, and DJ. We are "social smokers", secretely happy that the cigarettes might speed up our metabolisms, hoping they won't kill us in the process.
We pride ourselves on getting as little sleep as possible and thrive on self-deprivation. We drink coffee, a lot of it. We are on birth control, Prozac, and multivitamins. We do strip aerobics, hot yoga, always go five more minutes than the limit on any exercise machine at the gym.
We are relentless, judgmental of ourselves, and forgiving of others. We never want to be as passive aggressive as our mothers, never want to marry men as uninspired as our fathers. We carry the old world of guilt - center of families, keeper of relationships, caretakers of friends - with the new world of control/ambition - rich, independent, powerful. We are the daughters of feminists who said: "You can be anything", and we heard "you have to be everything".
We must get A's. We must make money. We must save the world. We must be thin. We must be unflappable. We must be beautiful. We must be perfect. We must make it look effortless.
Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters - the hunger for excellence and the price we pay -
Courtney E. Martin
Bitch Magazine (issue no. 35, spring 2007).