A Challenge for Girls Today: Moving Beyond ‘How Do I Look?’

How do you grow up healthy in an era of body shaming and anonymous bullying on social media? You fight back

Alexandra lives in a peaceful, leafy subdivision in a suburb of Dallas, Texas, with her parents, a brother, a sister, and at the moment, five dogs—her family rescues dogs. Alexandra, who is 22 years old, rescues people.

In high school she was president of the teen board of a suicide hotline. Before that, she and friends had founded a blog on Tumblr for suicidal adolescents. She gave out her cell phone number and counseled people who called, tracking down their Facebook friends and even calling the police.

When adults found out, they told her to stop immediately, terrified that amateurs might inadvertently do harm. “I had no training—it was really reckless on my part,” Alexandra said. “At that time I saw it as heroic. Now part of me thinks I was trying to save them because I couldn’t save myself.”

Read This Next

These ants can shrink and regrow their brains

How to stop discarded face masks from polluting the planet

‘Tiger King’ stars’ face scrutiny in court

Go Further

Subscriber Exclusive Content

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet