In this zippy, intelligent call to arms, a former film and TV critic merges memoir and cultural commentary to break down how women have been watching, making, and playing in the all-media funhouse.Who is “The Girl”? Look to Hollywood and find the usual answer, one projected on millions of screens every day: she holds The Hero’s hand as he runs through the Pyramids, chasing robots; she nags him, or foils him, or plays the uptight straight man to his charming loser. But this “Girl” isn't really a person. She’s often barely a part. And given such a dehumanized ideal, how are women shaped in its presence? How does it form their sense of who they are and what they can become? From Bugs Bunny to Playboy Bunnies, from Frozen to Flashdance, from the progressive ’70s through the backlash ’80s, the triumphalist ’90s, and the pornified, “bro culture” aughts—and at stops in between—Chocano blends formative personal stories with insightful and emotionally powerful analysis. She shows how growing up in the shadow of “The Girl” taught her to think about herself and the world and what it means to raise a daughter in the face of these contorted reflections. In the tradition of Roxane Gay, Rebecca Solnit, and Susan Sontag, Chocano brilliantly shows that our identities are more fluid than we think, and certainly more complex than anything we see on any kind of screen.