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Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from…

Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New… (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Peggy Orenstein

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5803517,036 (3.72)28
Title:Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture
Authors:Peggy Orenstein
Info:Harper (2011), Hardcover, 256 pages
Collections:Read - Women and Womanhood
Tags:non-fiction, women, girls, gender roles, parenting

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Cinderella ate my daughter by Peggy Orenstein (2011)

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» See also 28 mentions

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Peggy orenstein starts the book talking about how when she learned she was pregnant she wanted a son because she had spent her whole life writing about girls and didn't know if she could live up to her own lessons. She ends up having a daughter Daisy and is horrified when Daisy becomes obsessed with Disney princesses. This leads her not only into research into why the princesses are so popular but a host of other girl related topics. Her dislike for the princesses is mainly that they are so passive and are sitting around waiting for a man to save them. I don't have kids myself but have a niece who went trhough her own princess phase and is now very obsessed wiht the color pink. I also think I'll eventually become a stepmother to a teenage girl so this topic interests me. I was especially interested in the section dealing with the internet. Not just with how it makes teenagers more into seeing themselves as a commodity but that so much game playing by kids today is done online. This has to be restricting their ability to use their imaginations which saddens me. The book ranges from child beauty pageants, to female superheroes to why so many toys today are pink. the book gives a good overview of these topics. I would like to read some of the other books mentioned in this one which go into the various subjects in more detail. I also found her take on twilight interesting. she hates bella as a spineless wimp but also applauds the fact that Bella isn't obsessed with her sexuality and she definitely isn't a prefect person. I do find it scary how in todays culture girls are wearing sexually explicit clothes so young when they can't possibly know what the clothes symbloise. lastly i am now going to stare at all Disney products with multiple pricnesses to see if the pricnesses really don't ever look each other in the eye.
( )
  RachelNF | Jan 15, 2016 |
I found this book informative, well-written, and short on answers. I have a 4-year-old daughter who is just (apparently) coming out of an obsession with the Disney princess stories, though apart from one thrift-store dress, and one schoolmate's play room, we haven't even seen any of the merchandise. The Girlie-girl culture may not be as ubiquitous as Orenstein worries, but it's definitely out there. I think her advice to start kids thinking critically about all this before the minefield of adolescence is just right, even if we're not in the thick of it now.

One thing this book left me wondering: Is there any book like this there about little boys? ( )
  Amelia_Smith | May 2, 2015 |
In this easy and relatable read Orenstein delves into America's recent blue versus pink epidemic. While she initially follows the impact pink has in the lives of the youngest of girls there are important conclusions about the later impact pink has on the women those girls become. Perfectionism, empowerment, stereotypes, and rebellion are focal points that follow women throughout life. This book tracks the origins of these topics and demonstrates where they have deviated from the harmless roots they once stood on. An excellent book for those working to break females of all ages free from the social constructs of squeaky clean sparkle. ( )
  VictoriaBrodersen | Jan 6, 2015 |
This book on the "pink" wars and the trend toward princess culture in childhood, as well as gender based expectations is not a sermon or a lecture; it is a conversation. The author has an easy style, interlaced with a lot of humor, and the personal anecdotes, while not presented as evidence, help add a personal touch. In fact, it is usually the events with her own daughter (the anecdotes) that act as the stimulus to research more completely. The author does not dismiss the reality of gender differences, but she tries to demonstrate the affect that emphasizing the differences creates in young women, and the pervasiveness of messages that girls are supposed to be "hot" or "sexy". The most horrifying chapter was probably the one on beauty pageants for little girls, though the author goes out of her way not to condemn the parents (perhaps bending over a bit too far at times). A must-read for anyone who interacts with females of any age. ( )
1 vote quantum_flapdoodle | Aug 29, 2014 |
I found this book really depressing, which is not to say it is not good nor that it is not worth reading. It's just hard to be reminded that so much effort put into social change by so many people for so many years can be undone in a flash by clever marketers.

This book is a bit of an upper-middle-class feminist book, as the time and effort to worry about these issues is a consequence of privilege. Unfortunately that makes it even more depressing - if a sincere, honest , upper-middle-class mom can't manage to derail the marketing forces that treat girls as objects and encourage them to think of themselves as having value only in how men perceive them, how is someone who has to work two jobs to keep the kids fed going to manage?

The author has some suggestions, but truthfully, unrestrained capitalism and massive marketing to children of stereotyped gender roles simply to make more money are factors that are really difficult to combat on an individual level.

If there is one lesson I came away with from this book, it is that we have farther to go than I had hoped and that we cannot step back from the struggle to ensure women are perceived as human beings just as men are.

Worth reading. ( )
  Helcura | Jun 17, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
Orenstein skillfully integrates extensive research that demonstrates the pitfalls of "the girlie-girl culture's emphasis on beauty and play-sexiness," which can increase girls' vulnerability to depression, distorted body images and eating disorders, and sexual risks. It's the personal anecdotes, though, which are delivered with wry, self-deprecating, highly quotable humor, that offer the greatest invitation to parents to consider their daughters' worlds and how they can help to shape a healthier, soul-nurturing environment
added by sduff222 | editBooklist, Gillian Engberg (Jan 1, 2011)

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Peggy Orensteinprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
King, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ruoto, WilliamDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Van Bree, ChristineCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Daisy
First words
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.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Portions of this book appeared in altered form in The New York Times Magazine.
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Book description

Why I hoped for a boy -- What's wrong with Cinderella? -- Pinked! -- What makes girls, girls? -- Sparkle, sweetie! -- Guns and (briar) roses -- Wholesome to whoresome: the other Disney princesses -- It's all about the cape -- Virtually me -- Girl power-no, really.
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The author explores her own conflicting feelings as a mother as she protects her offspring and probes the roots and tendrils of the girlie-girl movement and concludes that parents who think through their values early on and set reasonable limits, encourage dialogue and skepticism, and are canny about the consumer culture can combat the 24/7 "media machine" aimed at girls and hold off the focus on beauty, materialism, and the color pink somewhat.… (more)

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