How to be a great teen girl

girl talk

Girl Talk

This is basically “how to be a girl” advice for teens. The book is divided into sections such as make-up, hair, hygiene, diets, etc. Once you get all these requirements in place, you are sure to be a successful teen girl.

The book takes an “ABC” approach to organizing topics. I really hate this kind of organization unless you are talking about ABC books, a dictionary, or an encyclopedia. In order to make this work, we have a brief articles (very brief) on topics such as “Xenophobia”, “No-No’s, and “Zest”. My personal favorite was the entry on Menopause. Obviously, this is an important topic for teen girls.

The topics are really hair, fashion, make-up, and of course, diet. In fact, diet is probably the largest section in the book. It also includes advice on vitamin supplements. The tone is pretty casual and there are no caveats to check with a doctor.

The age of the book should make this an automatic weed. Who wants to read something your mom probably read? My rule of thumb is that teen nonfiction shouldn’t be older than the teens.


back cover

make-up tips

bustline and posture body shape bra sizing clothing meal plans



  1. Ew-y advice to “rinse out” underwear, etc. after wearing. Myself, I prefer to wash them in the washing machine.

  2. Anyone else going “Yikes” at the 1,000-calorie-a-day diet? Teens are still growing and maturing. They need to eat more than that!

      1. Same, unfortunately. I tried lots of 500 & 700 calorie a day diets, and my mom would support them enthusiastically. Bleah.

    1. As a teen, I tried to follow a 1000-calorie-a-day diet(late 70s/early 80s). It was…not pretty.

  3. What is up with “one teaspoon vegetable fat” in the 1200 calorie lunch and dinner? At first, I thought maybe it meant putting margarine on the bran muffin in the (very weird) dinner, but I don’t see anything it corresponds to in the lunch. Are we meant to just gulp down a spoonful of Crisco?

    1. I wouldn’t mind gulping down a teaspoon of olive oil from time to time, but these menus are definitely weird.

  4. For some ridiculous reason old teen books always assumed every teen girl was upper middle class, white and attractive, with no problems more serious than looking good and attracting their crush. Thank God teen reference books are more grounded in reality now.

  5. I’m willing to give them a pass on the menopause entry as my mom was going through it as I was going through puberty (My dad spent a lot of time in the garage).

    But everything else is out of date. Check the blush instructions — yikes!

    And enough with the dieting. Growing people need calories.

  6. It’s the upside down football throw on the cover for me. As a young girl, I was taught to put your fingers across the laces.

    1. So was I!

      Must have been some bad advice that you should “throw like a girl” to attract boys. And giggle and toss your hair.

      I was friends with several of the football team in high school and they appreciated that I knew how you’re supposed to throw the things, and also the plays/rules.

  7. I remember this book! I’m pretty sure mine had a slightly more ’80s, pastel cover, though.

  8. The drawings look much older than 1990. The hairstyles and clothing look more 70’s. The middle girl on p. 28 has feathers! I wonder if this is a lazy “update” of an older book?

  9. This looks like something my mom would’ve forced me to read to “become more ladylike” and hope I follow the diet. And she would’ve had both hopes dashed to pieces.

    I swear I recognize that cover.

  10. What a hoot! This book actually looks older than its 1990 publishing date. Looks like something from the 1960s! And bad diet advice–your average teen girl could easily lose weight taking in 1800 or more calories. But my hope is that everyone will wake up to the fact that you can’t get permanent results from temporary diets and STOP dieting! Not to be spammy, but here’s a link to my post about a simple (and free) lifestyle change that puts an end to dieting.

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