The Strong Female Character, a guest post by author Lauren Magaziner

When I was a kid, I was told—on more than one occasion—that I was a little “too much.”

What that meant changed in the eye of the beholder. An acquaintance once told me I was too enthusiastic about things—that I needed to be more chill. A friend said I was always trying too hard to be funny, and I should stop. An educator once told my parents that I was too much of an overachiever, and I needed to pull back.

By the time I was a teen, I started to wonder if I was too academic, too anxious, too impatient, too passionate, too bold, too weird.

I know I’m not alone in these experiences; that’s how so many girls grow up. We start with BIG personalities and BIG dreams. Over time, we’re slowly conditioned to fit in with peers, to be acceptable. We’re asked not to stand out so much. In short, we’re taught to shrink.