Secrets Girls Keep: What Girls Hide (& Why) and How to Break the Stress of Silence

Secrets Girls Keep: What Girls Hide (& Why) and How to Break the Stress of Silence

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by Carrie Silver-Stock

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Do You Know Someone with a Secret?

This book is for every girl with a secret, which pretty much means every one. Our secrets help us, hurt us, and sometimes even haunt us beyond high school. Secrets like:

I hate the way I look.
My boyfriend yells at me.
I'm cheating my way through chemistry.
I lost my virginity and regret


Do You Know Someone with a Secret?

This book is for every girl with a secret, which pretty much means every one. Our secrets help us, hurt us, and sometimes even haunt us beyond high school. Secrets like:

I hate the way I look.
My boyfriend yells at me.
I'm cheating my way through chemistry.
I lost my virginity and regret it.
I sent a text message about my friend that wasn't true.
I went to a party and didn't tell my parents.
My mom drinks too much.

By revealing the personal stories, struggles, and secrets of other teen girls, Carrie Silver-Stock shows how to deal with everyday stresses by being self-reliant, not silent, and how to get real about what matters. With tips and advice for teens and by teens, you'll learn how to:

• Navigate the ups and downs of dating • Make and keep good friends • Deal with school (the social scene and grades) • Handle family drama • Survive the cyber scene • And more . . .

Thousands of girls are joining the movement to share their secrets, ideas, and stories. What are you waiting for? Visit

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Eileen Kuhl
This interactive collection of short stories, quizzes, and tips promotes successful and positive behavior for teenage girls. The author highlights some common examples of questions and familiar occurrences in teenage life. She then provides her own personal experiences and offers firsthand stories from teen girls in similar situations. Silver-Stock advises five simple skills to becoming self-reliant and happy: listen to your gut, discover your strengths, be courageous, choose good friends, and be emotionally and physically healthy. The stories and advice are grouped into the categories of beauty, boys, friendship, family life, school, computer interaction, and avoiding personal abuse (drinking, drugs). Each chapter gives realistic tips for handling a crisis, obstacle, or experience. Several quizzes emphasize the choices available, the benefits of communication, and personal responsibility in conducting life. The question-and-answer quizzes also provide real-life scenarios for the teens to examine and make a decision. The book gives an overall positive but cautious view of teen life, and the suggestions are not preachy or judgmental. The layout is magazine-like to allow teens to examine a particular topic or read the whole text. A short annotated list of relevant titles, Web sites, and organizations is provided and serves as a useful resource for readers who might want to investigate more information. Teens who enjoyed Sean Covey's 6 Most Important Decisions You'll Ever Make (Fireside, 2006) or Marie Auderset's Walking Tall (Harry N. Abrams, 2008/VOYA August 2008) will appreciate this title. Reviewer: Eileen Kuhl
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—This book covers a wide range of issues affecting young women today, from beauty, boys, friends, and Internet use to tougher problems such as drug use and STDs. Chapters cover each topic with scenarios from teens who dealt with the issue and include quizzes to check for understanding, and resources and tips to deal with the various situations. The most important concerns—depression, suicide, eating disorders, dating violence, sexual abuse, etc.—are all lumped together in one chapter, while those that are important but less disturbing or life-altering are given a whole chapter. Each chapter concludes with "Seven Tips Every Girl Needs to Deal With…." A list of additional resources available for each of the topics appears at the end of the book instead of at the end of each chapter. The feel of the whole book is one of quick pop psychology rather than any in-depth solutions. Overall, the volume is a good read for those who want some information about girls' issues but, for significant help, other sources must be considered.—Diana Pierce, Leander High School, TX

Product Details

Health Communications, Incorporated
Publication date:
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Barnes & Noble
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431 KB

Read an Excerpt

Beauty is a beast! Some of us have days when we love how we look, and other days we dread every glance in the mirror. Some of us never really care for the way we look, and others feel beautiful one week and the next week like something that escaped from a freak show!

Why wouldn't we feel this way, when each week the media gives us a new diet, a new fad, a new style, or a new beauty tip to try? It's overwhelming! On top of that, your body is in a major state of change when you're a teenager. Lovely puberty has made her debut, and you will never be the same again.

'I stood in front of the mirror, and it was almost like I didn't recognize who I saw. I felt so pretty yesterday. How could one pimple ruin everything?'
™Clarissa, 13

Secrets Girls Keep About Beauty

One might argue that the secrets girls keep about their beauty might be some of the most tightly kept. Our perception and feeling of our own beauty is often tied to how we value ourselves, our worth, and our relationship to the world around us. So, what are the beauty secrets you are keeping to yourself? See if any of these sound familiar:

- I have an eating disorder.
- I hate the way I look.
- I have big, ugly toes.
- I have a scar I don't want anyone to see.
I'm jealous of how great my best friend looks.
- I'm way too fat.
Maybe if I use more makeup no one will see what's underneath.
- I'm just not as pretty as other girls.

So, maybe you're not alone. Did you see your secret on the list? When we are feeling beautiful, we are feeling on top of the world. On the other hand, when we're not feeling beautiful, it's easy to find fault in others or put them down. In some cases, this gives some girls a temporary feeling of power or beauty, in a backward kind of way.

Ultimately, our conflicting feelings about our looks are tied to our love of ourselves and our place in the world. It can feel impossible to be satisfied with our own beauty because too often the images presented to us on TV, in magazines, and on the Internet are those of girls who are thin and tall with perfect skin, teeth, and bones.

Here's the problem in a nutshell: we realize that not everyone can look like a supermodel, but we continue to compare ourselves with every supermodel we see. How crazy is that? Worse, we compare ourselves to our best friends and the girls around us. This competition between girls is sometimes silent but often spoken. It shows up in mean comments, put-downs, eating disorders, school, and between friends. One of the ways we can start to change this troubling pattern is by dumping some of the beauty lies we routinely believe.

Beauty Lies

Lie No. 1: 'Pretty' is a tall, thin, supermodel type
Sure, some girls fit this description, but that leaves more than 2.5 billion girls and women who don't. Who gets to decide what beauty really is? You do! Every person in the world has his or her own version of beautiful, and fortunately they're all different.

Sometimes you might feel like boys are attracted to only one type of girl or to only one body type, but that just isn't true. Many of them see through the supermodels, TV ads, and MTV. While some boys are attracted to the images our culture promotes as sexy, you don't have to buy into this, and neither do they. We all know that stereotypes don't always hold true. This doesn't mean your chances of finding the right boyfriend are zilch, as Kaitlin discovered below.

'I always hated being short. I was self-conscious about it and felt like I was never going to have a boyfriend because boys only liked girls with long legs. Was I wrong! When I was a junior, I met this guy who fell for me head over heels. He didn't care how tall I was. In fact, it worked out better that I was short because he was only 5 feet 6 inches himself.'
™ Kaitlin, 17

The world would truly be a boring place if we were all the same, and fortunately that's not possible. Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder, which is why people routinely disagree about whether a certain model or actress is beautiful.

Even though our own common sense tells us that it doesn't really matter what boys think, it is still hard to accept when we haven't yet found that special boyfriend who appreciates us for who we are. This is especially tough when you like someone and he doesn't like you, but we'll save that for a different chapter.

In the meantime, take comfort: if you can be patient and be yourself, you will eventually find someone who will like you for who you are.

Lie No. 2: You can't eat if you want to be pretty
Girls believe this lie all of the time. On the contrary, it's important to eat a healthy, balanced diet. No one should be too thin. Your body is still growing, and it's essential to eat enough fruits, veggies, whole grains, and proteins to ensure your health.

Candace battled this lie all of the time. She thought that if she ate three meals a day, she'd gain weight and might not look as good. Her parents realized she wasn't eating a healthy diet, and they became worried and made her start eating a balanced meal three times a day.

Candace was shocked at the results. She didn't gain weight, but she did have more energy in the morning, and she felt better. She was also surprised to find she was less irritable than before.

If you eat three balanced meals a day, you will be a healthy—and therefore a truly beautiful—weight.

Lie No. 3: Mirrors tell the truth
Many girls have distorted views of themselves. When they look into a mirror, they honestly think they see a fat person. Such girls may be experiencing disordered eating or may even be on the verge of an eating disorder like anorexia nervosa. Girls with this problem need professional help.

Ruth's problems were a little different, but they grew out of the same basic problem: her perception of her own looks.

Ruth was lonely. She was a freshman in high school, and she was extremely self-conscious about her enormous nose. At least to her it looked enormous. Every time she looked in the mirror, it practically jumped out at her. She was sure her nose was the reason she didn't have a boyfriend or many friends. She was sure people were looking at it every time they glanced in her direction. It made her so self-conscious that she was beginning to look away any time someone approached her—a habit that, unwittingly, was making people feel she wasn't interested in them.

Dove soap has created several video ads that appear as part of its Campaign for Real Beauty. One reveals the hundreds of things that must be done to a fashion model in order to get her to look the way she does. In the video, you see not only all the makeup and primping but also how the computer distorts the image to make the girl look perfect. Talk about a lie every time we look at a supermodel!

The truth is, like supermodels, the ideals we seek are often distorted, airbrushed versions of the truth. All of us could be supermodels if we had a team of people working on us and a computer that concealed our so-called 'flaws'!

Lie No. 4: Other girls are prettier than me
Rather than value who they are and what they have to offer, teen girls often compare themselves to other girls. It happens fast, but that jealous twinge doesn't feel good, nor does it go away very quickly.

It may be part of human nature to compare ourselves to others, but it's not a very helpful part, at least when it comes to our looks. Next time you notice yourself starting to compare yourself to other girls or becoming jealous, stop. Instead, focus on the things you like about yourself.

Lisa felt jealous whenever she saw Catherine. This long-legged beauty with vibrant blue eyes seemed to have it all: long, flowing hair, a beautiful face, a drop-dead gorgeous figure, and good grades, too.

Lisa wasn't bad herself, but she sure didn't have Catherine's gorgeous features. Her eyes were a little too narrow, and they were kind of a washed-out shade of green. Still, Lisa was grateful for her pretty smile and can-do attitude. As her mom always said, 'What can't be cured must be endured.'

Endured cheerfully, Lisa's mom might have said. We can't control our looks beyond the most basic of changes unless we're thinking of plastic surgery, but we can always control our attitudes.

Lie No. 5: You need to spend two hours getting ready in order to be beautiful
Wow. How many of us believe this? I was never one to spend long hours in the bathroom, but many girls do.

Are you one of them? Think about how much time you spend getting ready each day. Is it too much or just right? If it's too much, look at it this way: wouldn't you rather sleep in, hang out with friends, read, play the guitar, or do something else during this time? Two hours a day adds up to fourteen hours a week!

Start small and see whether you can cut back. Try to reduce the time it takes you to get ready each day by fifteen minutes the first week and work down from there.

Jill was proud of herself! She was overcoming what she privately thought of as her addiction to the bathroom mirror. For almost two years, she had washed and styled her hair at least twice every morning, getting up forty-five minutes earlier than any other member of her family in order to have sufficient time alone in the bathroom.

Her mom finally talked to Jill about how much time she was spending on her hair, and she and Jill agreed that Jill would limit herself to styling it once a day from now on. This gave Jill extra time in the morning to sleep, catch up on homework, or just relax before school started. Occasionally she still felt the urge to wash and style her hair for a second time, but she just shut her eyes for a moment and walked out of the bathroom. Enough was enough.

Lie No. 6: You're only pretty if you have a boyfriend
Let's get one thing clear—you don't become more beautiful through the number of guys you date. If you're starting to buy into this, stop yourself. It's an easy trap to fall into, but as Carmen recognized, it's a dangerous one.

'I couldn't see it when I was in high school, but I depended on guys to make me feel good about myself. It was like I couldn't recognize my own value or beauty. Instead, I needed their interest in me to validate myself. I was in a lot of dumb relationships because of this, and some of them were only one-night stands. I wish I had started with more belief in myself.'
™ Carmen, 17

Here's another take on recognizing your own beauty as Megan learned.

'Like many teenage girls, I was shy, awkward, and convinced that I was alone in my mutant appearance amid a sea of beautiful peers. Perhaps I was also lacking in the self-esteem department.

I found my niche in the drama department and hung out at a local coffeehouse. At this time I also lusted after Scott, who worked at Video Unlimited. He remains the demigod of unrequited lust. Scott was beautiful.

So it really wasn't stalkerish at all when a friend and I made a detour to Video Unlimited en route to the coffeehouse from the theater. The two shops were across the street from each other, and there might have been a movie we really wanted to see. It was unlikely Scott would be working, since we knew he worked the last two nights and rarely worked three nights in a row.

We went in. Scott was working. We ogled shamelessly. The highlight of that interlude was when Scott turned just in time to catch me worshipping him. I broke eye contact and picked up the first movie at hand, feigning interest in renting whatever I discovered. Unknown to me, I had wandered into the porn section and found myself face-to-full-frontal with Milady's Court.

Even my friend and I were uncomfortable, so we crossed the street to more familiar ground. The coffeehouse was staffed by tattooed college boys whom I regarded as being too cool to converse with, speakers played bands that were too cool for me to recognize, and the menu boasted fancy coffee drinks that were too cool for me to pronounce. I don't remember what we talked about, but I do remember when we stopped talking. Scott was crossing the street, and my friend watched him enter the shop. I have no memory of what I was discussing so animatedly, just the moment that I realized Scott had come over to us and was handing us something.

'I believe this is yours.' I forced my most gracious adult smile and assumed I had dropped something. Scott handed me a folded brown napkin. I was still holding the napkin after he left, puzzled about when I had dropped it. My friend squealed, 'Open it!' Inside, written in orange marker, was 'You are one of the most naturally beautiful women I have ever seen and I did not think it should go unrecognized.' Again, I can't recall much of what happened next. I don't remember her reaction, what we talked about, or what happened to Scott.

From then to now, I have received the occasional poor grade and made an awkward mess out of myself. Nevertheless, I know that at least two people believe I am one of the most naturally beautiful women ever seen, and such a fact should never go unrecognized. One of these people is Scott, and the other one is myself.'
™ Megan H., 23

©2009. Carrie Silver-Stock. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Secrets Girls Keep. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442

What People are saying about this

Tierra B.

"I loved Secrets Girls Keep because it helped me figure out a lot about myself. The book was very inspiring. I also loved the book because it helps me to talk to my friends better and even my mom."

Tierra B., 14

"After reviewing Secrets Girls Keep, I have recommended it to several people. Anyone who has a girl in their life should read Secrets Girls Keep because it's more than a book - it's a workbook, filled with insight and thought-provoking questions. Carrie's book should be the bible for every school counselor."
Line Brunet, CLC, MFDC, MSLC, Life & Family Empowerment Coach

Rachel Muir

"A heartfelt book dedicated to helping girls stay strong, brave and fearless. Secrets Girls Keep is an honest account of growing up female. Every reader can find a story they can relate to and the support they need to make it."

Rachel Muir, fearless leader, Girlstart

Magi Henderson

"At a time when we're all looking for change, we can't forget the coming generations of young women in our world. Carrie's book isn't a "How-To" book, it goes much deeper, providing first hand examples of why it might be a difficult journey for young women in today's world, but not an impossible one. The Seven Tips should be memorized by everyone who is a preteen girl or knows one."

Magi Henderson, Glen Carbon Centennial Library, Youth Services Director

Line Brunet

"After reviewing Secrets Girls Keep, I have recommended it to several people. Anyone who has a girl in their life should read Secrets Girls Keep because it's more than a book - it's a workbook, filled with insight and thought-provoking questions. Carrie's book should be the bible for every school counselor."

Line Brunet, CLC, MFDC, MSLC, Life & Family Empowerment Coach

Sandra Yancey

"Teen girls are the future leaders of our families, workplaces, and communities. Secrets Girls Keep is an invaluable tool for helping every girl make the right choices for herself while growing up. Silver-Stock shows girls how to find their own voice and path as they strive to become future leaders while navigating the ups and downs of young adulthood. Every girl who is determined to succeed will love the solid advice, straightforward approach, and the real life stories shared by other girls."

Sandra Yancey, Founder and CEO eWomenNetwork, Inc

Deborah Reber

"The key to happiness is getting real and finding a way to be okay with who we are…our authentic selves. How great would it be to learn how to tap into this honest and open place as a teenager? When girls follow Carrie's guidelines for shedding their secrets and taking charge of their lives, the world has no choice but to be a better place!"

Deborah Reber, Teen advocate, speaker, and author

Diane Levin

"As media and commercial culture is putting increasing pressure on girls to conform to standards that can be very harmful to themselves and their relationships with others, Secrets Girls Keep gives teen-age girls down-to-earth, practical, heartfelt advice that will empower them to resist the pressure and take care of themselves and others in these hard to grow up times. Parents will thank Carrie Silver-Stock for giving them this book to give to and discuss with their daughters."

Diane Levin, Ph.D., Professor of Education, Wheelock College, Author of So Sexy So Soon

Susan Kallash-Bailey

"Carrie-Silver Stock has done a marvelous job of addressing the challenges teen girls face. Let's face it, it's not easy growing up, but here's a book that provides real life stories, practical advice and seven "important" tips to help teen girls become more empowered, confident, healthy and productive. I will be recommending it to all the teen girls in my life... and their parents, too."

Susan Kallash-Bailey, Mother, and CEO of Solutions with Heart

Stephen Hinshaw

"Secrets Girls Keep is compelling in its honesty, openness, and just plain good sense. Written for teenage girls, who face pressures that are almost impossible to imagine, it models getting beneath the silence and shame that all too often accompany life problems (e.g., loss, sex, abuse, eating problems, mood disorder) and actively engages them in self-exploration and disclosure. A vitally important book."

Stephen Hinshaw, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Department of Psychology, UC Berkeley; author of The Triple Bind: Saving our Teenage Girls from Today's Pressures

Meet the Author

Carrie Silver-Stock, MSW, LCSW received her masters in social work from Washington University in 1999 and a BA in sociology and World Perspectives from Principia College. She is the founder and CEO of The mission of is to create a place founded on friends, dreams, and action where girls empower each other to build their best lives. Silver-Stock teaches girls how to be leaders and take action in their own lives and in the world. She has collaborated with organizations like Girls Inc. and the Girl Scouts. She has presented at University Missouri St. Louis, Lewis and Clark Community College, St. Luke's Hospital, and appeared on Guidelines for Mental Health (cable TV). She is the former radio talk show host of "Make it Happen" and a contributor to GLOW magazine. She has also appeared on today in St. Louis, (KDSK/NBC), ABC Radio, Women's Media, CKOM radio, the Working Women's Show, numerous St. Louis venues, and has had articles published in a variety of media outlets.

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Secrets Girls Keep: What Girls Hide (& Why) and How to Break the Stress of Silence 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just rite your life story and i will listen.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
lynette355 More than 1 year ago
There is so many secrets and superstitions that we all keep. For example today is Friday the 13th, a day many people fear. And weather the fear is real or unreal it still effects the outlook we have on life. Many young girls also have fears and secrets. And as a mother I always want to be there for my College Girl. In the book "Secrets Girls Keep", many of these subjects are addressed. Anorexia, abuse, sexual activity, fear of rejection and many more of these topics are opened up. Here are the personal accounts from girls as they share the struggles they have been through. And by doing so we can learn how to overcome the hardships from such issues. And how to be there to help our girls grow and adapt as they become the ladies they are destined to be. Topics include: . Feel beautiful without going on a crash diet . Navigate the ups and downs of dating . Make and keep good friends . Deal with school (the social scene and the grades) . Phone and Internet safety and social media I was touched that there was so many girls willing to share their personal history. And at the same time learned so much more that I am sure my own daughter had never told me. My College Girl will be home for a visit this weekend. It will be good to sit and talk. I know that I wish to share some of the things I have learned with her. And maybe we can help break the stress of silence for others in doing so.