Oscar winners love saying, “stay true to yourself.” And we mostly know that means if we’re really into, say, soccer, we shouldn’t try out for the swim team simply because the popular girls are. We should stick with soccer. But it’s more than that. Staying true to yourself really means feeling good about your choices, even when others don’t approve. Because, believe me, not everyone will approve. But if your decisions come from that quiet confident place inside of you, the place that is full of genuine integrity and passion, you will never have a single regret.
Yesterday, this assertion was proven to me after I read the following comment from Disgusted Grandmother. She did not like The Clique one little bit. But since I am confident in my message, comments like hers don’t upset me. They make me think DG didn’t get it. Even if she did get it and still didn’t like what I had to say in The Clique, I’m not bummed. She is entitled to her opinion and I think it’s nice that she gives a gosh-darn-dilly about what her granddaughter reads. (I could have done without the “whore” reference but I’ll save that for my blog on irony.)
June 3, 2013 at 8:11 am
Really, Lisi? REALLY?? Your books are TRIPE! I’m a guardian grandmother, and i am APPALLED at the amount of low self-esteem your books perpetuate in young girls. I am SICK of girls being bombarded with media that focuses first on what they wear; second on how they look; and third on how mean, self-centered, and vicious they can be. There is a story on your website about a young girl who is feeling ostracized and lonely …. you recommend therapy. Unfortunately, so many of our young girls NEED therapy because they are inundated with media (including books) that promote bullying, revenge, and low self image. Congratulations … your Emerson degree has done you proud. And-YES- i HAVE read some of what you have written … I am NOT impressed. PLEASE:: if you truly wish to make a difference for young girls, pen books that focus on achievement (not the beauty/popularity kind), on young women supporting their peers’ endeavors (art, academic, equality based on substance, not who’s wearing the latest fashionista fad), and a sense of self worth that emanates from INSIDE. OR:: failing that, have the decency to market your books to high schoolers. I am tired of telling a Girl i love, who has incredible talent, creativity, and love to give that the clothes she wants to wear because “everyone else is” would make her look like a whore. What’s saddest: i used to tell her that “real” girls don’t act like the characters in books like “Clique” or “Monster High;” unfortunately,I am no longer sure that is true. A Disgusted Grandmother
It’s easy for me not to personalize DG’s message because Haylee and so many others DID get it. And I write for them.
June 4, 2013 at 10:39 am
I am an avid follower of Lisi’s books and haven’t been commenting much lately, but your comment got me to thinking so I thought I should answer. First of all, I find it sweet that you’re worried about your granddaughter’s well-being but I think your’s and her’s interpretation of this series is too black and white for my taste. Lisi has specifically stated on her blog a few months ago that the intention behind creating the Clique was inspired because of her time at MTV and that it was to show how Claire Lyons triumphed in the face of bullying (though in the beginning the abuse of those girls DID crush her and she tried to change herself simply to be more accepted just because she was a girl with no group of gorgeous friends, money or designer clothes she eventually went back to the people who liked her for her, Cam and Layne. And eventually the PC recognized her strength and became friends with her but even if they hadn’t I’m sure that she’d still stick by the people that genuinely love her.) And I disagree with you about the Clique having no substance at all, I think Lisi went to nice lengths to show some depth even in some of the “popular” characters such as Dylan Marvill, whose insecurities with her body image and the way she struggled throughout it is something I’m sure every girl can relate to and I also disagree about Lisi trying to “glorify” looks and making them out to seem like if you try to look good BOOM automatically everything is perfect which isn’t the case in what I said before. And there are a few characters in the series such as Layne which can count as supportive and it would be unrealistic if every character in the series were to be like that which is a sad fact of life but the only thing we can do is deal with it and maintain our self-esteem. And I’d really wish that you’d continue through reading through all the books and learn about the character journeys and interpret things in a broader matter if you’re interested. Also I don’t think this book series necessarily for HS people as the characters in it are 12/13 years old and it doesn’t contain anything graphic or any really harsh swears such as the f bomb. And I also don’t like your usage of whore, but I do get that you don’t like that your granddaughter wants to wear a kind of clothes just because her peers are wearing it. BTW I’m a liberal. (I’ll finish this essay later though, I have to go out.)
June 4, 2013 at 11:18 am
And I also don’t think you can determine whether or not girls in general act like the girls in these. Some can relate, some can’t. I don’t think it’s wrong to love a character the most out of others as we all go through different things in life. Plus, judging that your girl may be of middle grade, encourage her to discover herself and develop her hobbies and maintain her strengths instead of going back on her beliefs for the sake of others and I’m sorry to hear that she’s been experiencing this Also I think you misunderstood the message of Monster High, I stopped reading the series after Lisi stopped writing it so I don’t know about the newer books but from what I remember it showed Frankie experiencing prejudice and her learning that it’s OK to be herself and working for RAD rights instead of just hiding her true self behind makeup and making a difference in the world.
Lisi, I hope I did you justice writing this as I’m not as good with words compared to the some of you and I can’t wait for Pretenders
Haylee, I was going to respond but you did it much better than I ever could. Thank you for understanding and taking the time. DG, thank you for writing as well. I know you were being true to yourself too, and therefore won’t regret referring to my books as tripe–in all caps.