Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture

Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture

by Peggy Orenstein

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061711534
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 01/31/2012
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 146,634
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Peggy Orenstein is the New York Times bestselling author of Cinderella Ate My Daughter, Waiting for Daisy, Flux, and Schoolgirls. A contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine, she has been published in USA Today, Parenting, Salon, the New Yorker, and other publications, and has contributed commentary to NPR’s All Things Considered. She lives in Northern California with her husband and daughter.

Read an Excerpt

Cinderella Ate My Daughter


By Peggy Orenstein

HarperCollins Publishers

Copyright © 2012 Peggy Orenstein
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-06-171153-4


Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Why I Hoped for a Boy


Here is my dirty little secret: as a journalist, I have spent nearly two decades writing about girls, thinking about girls, talking about how girls should be raised. Yet, when I finally got pregnant myself, I was terrified at the thought of having a daughter. While my friends, especially those who'd already had sons, braced themselves against disappointment should the delivery room doc announce, "It's a boy," I felt like the perpetual backseat driver who freezes when handed the wheel. I was supposed to be an expert on girls' behavior. I had spouted off about it everywhere from The New York Times to the Los Angeles Times, from the Today show to FOX TV. I had been on NPR repeatedly. And that was the problem: What if, after all that, I was not up to the challenge myself?

What if I couldn't raise the ideal daughter?

With a boy, I figured, I would be off the hook.

And truly, I thought having a son was a done deal. A few years before my daughter was born, I had read about some British guy who'd discovered that two-thirds of couples in which the husband was five or more years older than the wife had a boy as their first child. Bingo. My husband, Steven, is nearly a decade older than I am. So clearly I was covered. Then I saw the incontrovertible proof on the sonogram (or what they said was incontrovertible proof; to me, it looked indistinguishable from, say, a nose) and I suddenly realized I had wanted a girl—desperately, passionately—all along. I had just been afraid to admit it. But I still fretted over how I would raise her, what kind of role model I would be, whether I would take my own smugly written advice on the complexities surrounding girls' beauty, body image, education, achievement. Would I embrace frilly dresses or ban Barbies? Push soccer cleats or tutus?

Shopping for her layette, I grumbled over the relentless color coding of babies. Who cared whether the crib sheets were pink or glen plaid? During those months, I must have started a million sentences with "My daughter will never ..."

And then I became a mother.

Daisy was, of course, the most beautiful baby ever (if you don't believe me, ask my husband). I was committed to raising her without a sense of limits: I wanted her to believe neither that some behavior or toy or profession was not for her sex nor that it was mandatory for her sex. I wanted her to be able to pick and choose the pieces of her identity freely - that was supposed to be the prerogative, the privilege, of her generation. For a while, it looked as if I were succeeding. On her first day of preschool, at age two, she wore her favorite outfit - her "engineers" (a pair of pin-striped overalls) - and proudly toted her Thomas the Tank Engine lunchbox. I complained to anyone who would listen about the shortsightedness of the Learning Curve company, which pictured only boys on its Thomas packaging and had made "Lady," its shiny mauve girl engine, smaller than the rest. (The other females among Sodor's rolling stock were passenger cars - passenger cars - named Annie, Clarabel, Henrietta, and, yes, Daisy. The nerve!) Really, though, my bitching was a form of bragging. My daughter had transcended typecasting.

Oh, how the mighty fall. All it took was one boy who, while whizzing past her on the playground, yelled, "Girls don't like trains!" and Thomas was shoved to the bottom of the toy chest. Within a month, Daisy threw a tantrum when I tried to wrestle her into pants. As if by osmosis she had learned the names and gown colors of every Disney Princess - I didn't even know what a Disney Princess was. She gazed longingly into the tulle-draped windows of the local toy stores and for her third birthday begged for a "real princess dress" with matching plastic high heels. Meanwhile, one of her classmates, the one with Two Mommies, showed up to school every single day dressed in a Cinderella gown. With a bridal veil.

What was going on here? My fellow mothers, women who once swore they would never be dependent on a man, smiled indulgently at daughters who warbled "So This Is Love" or insisted on being addressed as Snow White. The supermarket checkout clerk invariably greeted Daisy with "Hi, Princess." The waitress at our local breakfast joint, a hipster with a pierced tongue and a skull tattooed on her neck, called Daisy's "funny-face pancakes" her "princess meal"; the nice lady at Longs Drugs offered us a free balloon, then said, "I bet I know your favorite color!" and handed Daisy a pink one rather than letting her choose for herself. Then, shortly after Daisy's third birthday, our high-priced pediatric dentist - the one whose practice was tricked out with comic books, DVDs, and arcade games - pointed to the exam chair and asked, "Would you like to sit in my special princess throne so I can sparkle your teeth?"

"Oh, for God's sake," I snapped. "Do you have a princess drill, too?"

She looked at me as if I were the wicked stepmother.

But honestly: since when did every little girl become a princess? It wasn't like this when I was a kid, and I was born back when feminism was still a mere twinkle in our mothers' eyes. We did not dress head to toe in pink. We did not have our own miniature high heels. What's more, I live in Berkeley, California: if princesses had infiltrated our little retro-hippie hamlet, imagine what was going on in places where women actually shaved their legs? As my little girl made her daily beeline for the dress-up corner of her preschool classroom, I fretted over what playing Little Mermaid, a character who actually gives up her voice to get a man, was teaching her.

On the other hand, I thought, maybe I should see princess mania as a sign of progress, an indication that girls could celebrate their predilection for pink without compromising strength or ambition; that at long last they could "have it all": be feminist and feminine, pretty and powerful; earn independence and male approval. Then again, maybe I should just lighten up and not read so much into it - to mangle Freud, maybe sometimes a princess is just a princess.

I ended up publishing my musings as an article called "What's Wrong with Cinderella?" which ran on Christmas Eve in The New York Times Magazine. I was entirely unprepared for the response. The piece immediately shot to the top of the site's "Most E-mailed" list, where it hovered for days, along with an article about the latest conflict in the Middle East. Hundreds of readers wrote in - or e-mailed me directly - to express relief, gratitude, and, nearly as often, outright contempt: "I have been waiting for a story like yours." "I pity Peggy Orenstein's daughter." "As a mother of three-year-old twin boys, I wonder what the land of princesses is doing to my sons." "I would hate to have a mother like Orenstein." "I honestly don't know how I survived all those hyped-up images of women that were all around me as a girl." "The genes are so powerful."

Apparently, I had tapped into something larger than a few dime-store tiaras. Princesses are just a phase, after all. It's not as though girls are still swanning about in their Sleeping Beauty gowns when they leave for college (at least most are not). But they did mark my daughter's first foray into the mainstream culture, the first time the influences on her extended beyond the family. And what was the first thing that culture told her about being a girl? Not that she was competent, strong, creative, or smart but that every little girl wants - or should want - to be the Fairest of Them All.

It was confusing: images of girls' successes abounded - they were flooding the playing field, excelling in school, outnumbering boys in college. At the same time, the push to make their appearance the epicenter of their identities did not seem to have abated one whit. If anything, it had intensified, extending younger (and, as the unnaturally smooth brows of midlife women attest, stretching far later). I had read stacks of books devoted to girls' adolescence, but but where was I to turn to understand the new culture of little girls, from toddler to "tween," to help decipher the potential impact - if any - of the images and ideas they were absorbing about who they should be, what they should buy, what made them girls? Did playing Cinderella shield them from early sexualization or prime them for it? Was walking around town dressed as Jasmine harmless fun, or did it instill an unhealthy fixation on appearance? Was there a direct line from Prince Charming to Twilight's Edward Cullen to distorted expectations of intimate relationships?

It is tempting, as a parent, to give the new pink-and-pretty a pass. There is already so much to be vigilant about, and the limits of our tolerance, along with our energy, slip a little with each child we have. So if a spa birthday party would make your six-year-old happy (and get her to leave you alone), really, what is the big deal? After all, girls will be girls, right? I agree, they will - and that is exactly why we need to pay more, rather than less, attention to what is happening in their world. According to the American Psychological Association, the girlie-girl culture's emphasis on beauty and play-sexiness can increase girls' vulnerability to the pitfalls that most concern parents: depression, eating disorders, distorted body image, risky sexual behavior. In one study of eighth-grade girls, for instance, self-objectification - judging your body by how you think it looks to others - accounted for half the differential in girls' reports of depression and more than two-thirds of the variance in their self-esteem. Another linked the focus on appearance among girls that age to heightened shame and anxiety about their bodies. Even brief exposure to the typical, idealized images of women that we all see every day has been shown to lower girls' opinion of themselves, both physically and academically. Nor, as they get older, does the new sexiness lead to greater sexual entitlement. According to Deborah Tolman, a professor at Hunter College who studies teenage girls' desire, "They respond to questions about how their bodies feel - questions about sexuality or arousal - by describing how they think they look. I have to remind them that looking good is not a feeling."

All of that does not suddenly kick in when a girl blows out the candles on her thirteenth birthday cake. From the time she is born - in truth, well before - parents are bombarded with zillions of little decisions, made consciously or not, that will shape their daughter's ideas and understanding of her femininity, her sexuality, her self. How do you instill pride and resilience in her? Do you shower her with pink heart-strewn onesies? Reject the Disney Princess Pull-Ups for Lightning McQueen? Should you let your three-year-old wear her child-friendly nail polish to pre-school? What's your policy on the latest Disney Channel "it" girl? Old Dora versus New Dora? Does a pink soccer ball celebrate girlhood? Do pink TinkerToys expand or contract its definition? And even if you think the message telegraphed by a pink Scrabble set with tiles on the box top that spell "F-A-S-H-I-O-N" is a tad retrograde, what are you supposed to do about it? Lock your daughter in a tower? Rely on the tedious "teachable moment" in which Mom natters on about how if Barbie were life-sized she'd pitch forward smack onto her bowling ball boobs (cue the eye rolling, please)?

Answering such questions has, surprisingly, become more complicated since the mid-1990s, when the war whoop of "Girl Power" celebrated ability over body. Somewhere along the line, that message became its own opposite. The pursuit of physical perfection was recast as a source - often the source - of young women's "empowerment." Rather than freedom from traditional constraints, then, girls were now free to "choose" them. Yet the line between "get to" and "have to" blurs awfully fast. Even as new educational and professional opportunities unfurl before my daughter and her peers, so does the path that encourages them to equate identity with image, self-expression with appearance, femininity with performance, pleasure with pleasing, and sexuality with sexualization. It feels both easier and harder to raise a girl in that new reality - and easier and harder to be one.

I didn't know whether Disney Princesses would be the first salvo in a Hundred Years' War of dieting, plucking, and painting (and perpetual dissatisfaction with the results). But for me they became a trigger for the larger question of how to help our daughters with the contradictions they will inevitably face as girls, the dissonance that is as endemic as ever to growing up female. It seemed, then, that I was not done, not only with the princesses but with the whole culture of little girlhood: what it had become, how it had changed in the decades since I was a child, what those changes meant, and how to navigate them as a parent. I'm the first to admit that I do not have all the answers. Who could? But as a mother who also happens to be a journalist (or perhaps vice versa), I believed it was important to lay out the context - the marketing, science, history, culture - in which we make our choices, to provide information that would help parents to approach their decisions more wisely.

So I returned to the land of Disney, but I also traveled to American Girl Place and the American International Toy Fair (the industry's largest trade show, where all the hot new products are introduced). I trolled Pottery Barn Kids and Toys "R" Us. I talked to historians, marketers, psychologists, neuroscientists, parents, and children themselves. I considered the value of the original fairy tales; pondered the meaning of child beauty pageants; went online as a "virtual" girl; even attended a Miley Cyrus concert (so you know I was dedicated). And I faced down my own confusion as a mother, as a woman, about the issues that raising a girl raises in me about my own femininity.
(Continues...)


Excerpted from Cinderella Ate My Daughter by Peggy Orenstein. Copyright © 2012 by Peggy Orenstein. Excerpted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

What People are Saying About This

Rebecca Traister

“[Peggy Orenstein’s] addictively readable book manages, somehow, to be simultaneously warm and chilling”

Ayelet Waldman

“I wish I’d had Peggy Orenstein’s thought-provoking, wise, and entertaining new book, Cinderella Ate My Daughter, to comfort me and to help me navigate the Pepto Bismol pink aisles of the toy store and the cotton candy pink channels of the TV dial. Every mother needs to read this.”

Judith Warner

“Orenstein has played a defining role in giving voice to this generation of girls and women…. At times this book brings tears to your eyes—tears of frustration with today’s girl-culture and also of relief because somebody finally gets it—and is speaking out on behalf of our daughters.”

Rachel Simmons

“Reading Cinderella is like hanging out with a straight-talking, hilarious friend; taking a fascinating seminar on 21st century girlhood; and discovering a compendium of wise (but never preachy) advice on raising girls. A must-read for any parent trying to stay sane in a media saturated world.”

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Cinderella Ate My Daughter 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 88 reviews.
LivingPeacefully More than 1 year ago
Peggy Orenstein, an award-winning writer, author, and speaker concerning issues affecting girls and women, is set to come out with a new book, Cinderella Ate My Daughter, this week. As an author with reportedly over 20 years of writing about women's issues, I expected more from the book. Written in a blog-like manner, it tends to be more fluff, containing more anecdotal evidence than scientific research. The concepts, while not new, still hold merit. However, I believe Orenstein would have been better off condensing the topics to the pertinent matter and writing a series of articles rather than compiling them into a book. After the first few chapters, I began to think I never wanted to read nor hear the word pink again. More depressing is the fact that she is correct in her descriptions of our consumerist run society. Market campaigns play a much larger role in our daughters' self-views than ever before. As the author states, rather than giving girls freedom from the traditional stereotyped constraints, companies are merely packaging those constraints in a way that is geared to convince girls to chose them. In a world where every little girl is expected to idolize packages princesses and where our home, free of the typical character royalty, is unique even among more progressive thinkers, the concepts are thought provoking for some and old hat to others. The book had potential but fell short. Readers would be better off checking out Packaging Girlhood. Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of Cinderella Ate My Daughter from Harper Collins Publishers.
Nina83 More than 1 year ago
Every little girl is a princess and pink has pervaded our culture. Peggy Orenstein's newest book "Cinderella Ate My Daughter" is a interesting look into the so-called "girlie girl" culture. I'm very interested in reading about sneaky marketer tactics and their effects on children, and this was a new perspective. Are we limiting our daughters by giving into their princess fantasies? Why do girls need pink baseball bats, pink camo, pink everything? Is it feminist to discourage girls toys when that just shows them that being a girl is bad or some how worth less? Orenstein tries to answer these questions and more. Let me just say, I really enjoyed this book. I agree with some of the other reviewers that it was a bit fluffy, but for someone who is not an expert in the subject, I liked the highly personal, blogger-esque feel to it. Because of this I think it is a book that many people can read enjoyably without it being too academic. I also enjoyed that Orenstein herself seemed so relatable as a human. I was afraid that it would be preachy, talking about the wonderful things she does. Instead, she seemed very sincere and admitted her failings. I really appreciated that. As for the content, I felt myself torn between my own experiences and the things I might want for my future children. I personally loved Disney princesses, American Girl dolls and fairy tales as a child (still do!) and don't believe that I was damaged. I want my children to be able to enjoy these things too, does this make me a bad (future) mother? But I found myself agreeing that brand name toys limit the range of play. It seems that a lot of children these days are unable to make something up themselves; could the children be stuck in the stories of the characters? I also agreed a lot with the section on the usage of the internet by children. As we see time and time again, children have been getting themselves in trouble by putting themselves on stage on the internet. How do we protect them without overprotecting them? I felt that though most of these questions remain unanswered, Orenstein is trying to open the dialogue. All in all, I felt that this was a great introduction to thinking about how girl power could be making our daughters powerless. I believe I will read Orenstein's other works as well.
Poppy44 More than 1 year ago
As a grandfather of three young girls, I was looking forward to sharing Disney princess movies, etc. with them; but after reading this and realizing the pervasive channeling of 'pink princess' material towards very young girls, I'm resigned to giving that up. Even though I was aware of lots of the trends, seeing how overwhelming the influences are was an eye-opening experience.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Seriously the worst book I have ever read. She goes against her own thesis so many times it's quite frustrating actually. Highly recommend NOT reading this. She can't even take her own advice and has no clue how to raise her own kid, let alone trying to help raise others.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This a noce book but waste of time
etxgardener on LibraryThing 29 days ago
This is the best-selling book (derived from an article in the New York Times Magazine about the dark side of consumer marketing to girls. While this book was only published in 2011, much of it seems old hat. Maybe that's because we can congratulate the author for exposing the predatory power of pink marketing, or the plethora of books and articles that have appeared on this subject in the past year. Whatever it is, the book just seemed like old news to me and, while I do think the subject is important, not that interesting. I'm glad this is one that I checked out of the library & not something I invested $15.00 on.
LizPhoto on LibraryThing 29 days ago
I've been waiting to read "Cinderella Ate My Daughter" for a while now it was not exactly what I had expected. Some of the one-liners and personal stories were funny but the lack of scientific research and gender study research made the book seem more suited for a magazine article or. I understand that ¿CAMD¿ is not a research book and covering the topic in a lighter manner makes it available to a wider audience. Just a little side note ¿ If anyone is interested in this topic you need to check out the photography work by Lauren Greenfield especially her book ¿Girl Culture¿ and ¿Fast Forward.¿The whole give me this now and I can¿t go outside without looking completely perfect attitude is really disturbing. I can¿t run to the grocery store or Walgreen¿s without seeing people dressed to the nines, while I am in jeans and no makeup, not sure if it¿s a southern belle things or like that all over but I hate it. The way you dress does not make you a better person than me, especially when your five year old is wearing Juicy Couture and carrying a Coach bag. I think it¿s nonsense and the whole princess culture does not help it at all.¿CAMD¿ showed how much the media and consumerism is geared specifically to a certain age and gender bringing out that give me that now attitude, especially if I am girl it has to be pink and sparkly. It also shows how the media wants our kids to grow up so fast that they can choose their own toys, clothes, etc¿. I mean what could be better than a six year old wearing so much makeup that she outshines Tammy Fay Baker and dresses in less clothes than Tia Tequila? When I have kids I want them to be raised with a solid background and have enough imagination that they can play with anything like a simple rock and make it anything they want it to be. I don¿t want my kids to be totally obsessed with princesses and Pokemon but I want to give them the chance to figure it out on their own and with guidance from me. I know that I kinda of went on rage/tangent about this whole thing but I have really strong feelings on the whole subject. Sorry it wasn¿t more of a review on the book.
kageeh on LibraryThing 29 days ago
I thought it was bad when my three daughters were young but it's even worse today. It's not so much the princesses and pink but the clothing. It's almost impossible to buy decent clothes for girls by the time they grow out of diapers. For most girls, however, most simply love dolls and princesses, no matter how much the parents try to steer them away. Other girls, three of my granddaughters, for example, just naturally shun everything to do with Disney and dolls. My own daughters, in fact, never played with dolls and hated ballet; I wondered if they were really mine. For all of Orenstein's protestations, girls will not necessarily march to the rhythm of their mothers, no matter how loudly they play the music. Orenstein is an excellent writer, by the way, and I hope to hear more from her.
lilysea on LibraryThing 29 days ago
Missed opportunity to A) deeply question the beauty standards of our culture. Rather than asking why our concept of beauty is so narrow, she just sort of went with that concept as factual. B) challenge cultural assumptions about gender. "Girls need to feel like girls" she says. But what the hell is a girl and how does it feel to be one? C) Look at race and the complications of being anything other than white when the beauty standard is white. This was a near-miss, because she talked to her "Black friend" and she has a BIRACIAL DAUGHTER, hello? But then again, Asian/white is not such a far cry from the white beauty standard--especially in Berkeley, so I guess that wasn't of concern and perhaps most of all D) analyze the class issues inherent in who buys what. She tosses off a couple of tasteful brands of toys she likes better than Disney princesses, she mentions that she likes American Girl dolls better and that they are better "quality", she suggests that as with the increase of organic food availability we can consume our way to better toy availability without noting that organic food is only available in certain neighborhoods at a certain price point. I can buy Habba and Plan and American Girl all I want now. My upper-crust "tasteful" consumption ain't gonna stop Disney. If indeed stopping Disney is the goal.Meh.Not a bad introduction to the ideas but "I always thought that A, but then my friend said her daughter B" is hardly a deep analysis or real test of anything
Nickelini on LibraryThing 29 days ago
This was an absolutely fascinating read. Orenstein looks at how predatory marketing influences ideas of gender in North American middle class girls. Just some of the topics she examines are the Disney Princess line ($4 Billion in product sold between 2000 & 2009), Barbie, Hannah Montana, and Twilight. The book is heavy on insightful observations and light on firm recommendations, but I thought she concluded well when she says all these various products are"...a cog in the round-the-clock, all pervasive media machine aimed at our daughters--and at us--from womb to tomb; one that, again and again, presents femininity as performance,sexuality as performance, identity as performance, and each of those traits as available for a price. It tells girls that how you look is more important than how you feel. more than that, it tells them that how you look is how you feel, as well as who you are."My daughters are 11 and 14, so we're beyond the princess stage, which they didn't have much use for anyway (and I'll take some of the credit for that). I think Orenstein could have been firmer in stating that adults can refuse to buy into this pink princess culture and be more active in redirecting their children's focus. But other wise, I really enjoyed exploring the princess industry along with her.Recommended for: anyone who is interested in consumerism and marketing and their influence on culture, and especially their influence on girls. Those looking for a parenting book with lots of tips and pat solutions will probably be disappointed.Why I Read This Now: it just looked too appealing to let sit on the shelf any longer. I admit that I am rather anti-Disney, so I was hoping that she'd really blast them (which she didn't).
lycomayflower on LibraryThing 29 days ago
Does much what it says on the tin, though comes to few conclusions (aside from "our role is not to keep the world at bay but to prepare our daughters so they can thrive within it," which I suspect is good advice about raising daughters in our media-saturated and increasingly girlie-girl culture, though perhaps a bit self-evident as well). Orenstein hits on many interesting aspects of the new girl culture, ranging from the American Girl and Disney Princess lines to junior beauty pageants and the influences of advertising and the internet. What results is an interesting and well-written discussion of the topic, despite the lack of definitive conclusions. And that lack isn't necessarily a flaw, as I think the issue of gender identity and pop culture is one that is so tangled that any conclusions that could be reached in one 200-page book would be automatically suspect. Recommended if you're interested in the discussion but (as others who have reviewed the book have said) don't expect a parenting how-to or advice book.
eenerd on LibraryThing 29 days ago
Somewhat scary look into what it is like raising very young girls nowadays, given the constant barrage by media and the 24/7 access to technology. A sobering look into the impacts of these things as well as the things we as parents do and project onto our kids. Thought provoking and very readable.
LivingPeacefully on LibraryThing 29 days ago
Peggy Orenstein, an award-winning writer, author, and speaker concerning issues affecting girls and women, is set to come out with a new book, Cinderella Ate My Daughter, this week. As an author with reportedly over 20 years of writing about women's issues, I expected more from the book. Written in a blog-like manner, it tends to be more fluff, containing more anecdotal evidence than scientific research. The concepts, while not new, still hold merit. However, I believe Orenstein would have been better off condensing the topics to the pertinent matter and writing a series of articles rather than compiling them into a book.After the first few chapters, I began to think I never wanted to read nor hear the word pink again. More depressing is the fact that she is correct in her descriptions of our consumerist run society. Market campaigns play a much larger role in our daughters' self-views than ever before. As the author states, rather than giving girls freedom from the traditional stereotyped constraints, companies are merely packaging those constraints in a way that is geared to convince girls to chose them.In a world where every little girl is expected to idolize packages princesses and where our home, free of the typical character royalty, is unique even among more progressive thinkers, the concepts are thought provoking for some and old hat to others. The book had potential but fell short. Readers would be better off checking out Packaging Girlhood. Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of Cinderella Ate My Daughter from Harper Collins Publishers.
tiamatq on LibraryThing 29 days ago
I enjoyed the hell out of this book (not quite sure what I mean by that, but it's true). It's been a great discussion topic between friends, co-workers, and family. The chapters go quickly and I thought the subject matter was fascinating. I've seen other reviewers complain that Orenstein doesn't offer advice on how to help your daughter (and even your son) to recognize and cope with the girlie-girl culture. After reading the book, I don't know that she could give a simple set of instructions for us to follow with success; the emphasis of the book is that we can't remove our children or ourselves completely from this culture. And even if we could (thinking back to the example of the genderless child), certain behaviors will assert themselves regardless. What Orenstein does do is explain her own parenting, which she recognizes as flawed. She struggles with giving in to her daughter, with the permeation of girlie-girl culture (pink, sparkly, princess-y, and sexy-without-being-sexy), and with accepting being feminine without that being a negative. She also finds ways to encourage her daughter to really think about the princess stories and the way girls are represented. You won't find a list of instructions for raising your daughter, but you'll see Orenstein's methods as a parent and the successes and failures she has with her daughter.Really, this book was fascinating and educational. I loved it!
tundra on LibraryThing 29 days ago
This book was an interesting read. There is a lot of information about the disney princess craze of the last 10 years (which I was totally unaware of) as well as some related topics that were interesting, especially if I ever have a daughter. I don't think the author said enough concluding remarks, and the general message was basic common sense, "be moderate."If you read this because you have a daughter you're afraid is princess crazed, this book does not have any special amazing solutions.
Chancie More than 1 year ago
A lot worth thinking about and it's presented in a way that's easy to understand, digest, and consider. In my opinion, a lot of it felt obvious if you're already interested in the topic, but if you're new, this is a great book to grab. It feels like a really important book for parents, soon to be parents, or want to be parents.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found that this book was hard to finish, and the only reason I had to finish it was being this book is being used in my Women and Genders class and is 25% of my grade. However, I found that Orenstein's arguments were extremely contradictive as she was not only able to stop from contradicting her arguments, she also could back her "facts" up with proof. Orenstein gives feminism a bad name as she often writes about slut and fat shaming 6-12 year old girls. Not a good book to read and I do not recommend
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Um...hello?
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