Thursday, November 17, 2011

Review - Cinderella Ate my Daughter by Peggy Orenstein

Book Summary from Amazon

The acclaimed author of the groundbreaking bestseller Schoolgirls reveals the dark side of pink and pretty: the rise of the girlie-girl, she warns, is not that innocent.

Pink and pretty or predatory and hardened, sexualized girlhood influences our daughters from infancy onward, telling them that how a girl looks matters more than who she is. Somewhere between the exhilarating rise of Girl Power in the 1990s and today, the pursuit of physical perfection has been recast as a source—the source—of female empowerment. And commercialization has spread the message faster and farther, reaching girls at ever-younger ages.

Cinderella Ate My Daughter is a must-read for anyone who cares about girls, and for parents helping their daughters navigate the rocky road to adulthood.

My Review - 3 1/2 More Sugar Please (in this case, More Pink Please)

I thought this was an interesting read. I have a 4 year old daughter that is all about pink. At night after I read a story to her I pull out my Kindle and read with the kindle light, well the ironic funniest comment she made while reading this book was.  "Mommy when I get older I am going to get a Kindle too but mine is going to be pink with a pink light."  It took everything in me to not laugh.  I think PeggyO may have been appalled, lol.

This book was much more than the pink phase girls go through.  It was the pink vs blue, the girl toys vs boy toys, female celebrities, girly girl vs tomboy, the Princesses of course and the dolls, American Girl, Barbie, Bratz, Spice Girls etc., sexy in young girls, toddler pageants and Facebook, the overall social media which was my favourite chapter.

Social media scares me for sure and I agree young children are techie so they are on it at young ages.  I can let my 4 year old be on the computer alone, owns her and 'gives me quiet time' ;-)  The thought of texting, online associates that she will call friends, all the life that I will no nothing about scares me.
As Parents we make decisions every day that will affect our children, that is our responsibility as a parent.  Even though the Princess movies and others are for children, we should still be watching them to see if we agree with the morals, every one's values are different.  I believe we have to respond to questions, there is the style - "no they don't watch or do it home so they don't know" but as Peggy found out, that is the biggest myth or thought. 

I remember once, my daughter was pretending and said 'is my butt big' if I hadn't watched Chipmunks with her I would have gasped and thought what the hell.  Oh ya, Chipmunks are funny but they can be rude but they are also irresistible.  Peggy discussed the uproar over Beyonce's song, Single Ladies, put a ring on it, lol, but guess what, it is right out of the Chipmunks movie, hahahahaha.
Did you know pink and blue is a 'new' concept?  A favourite quote When nursery colors were introduced, pink was actually considered the more masculine hue, a pastel version of red, which was associate with strength.  Blue, with its intimations of the Virgin Mary, constancy, and faithfulness, symbolized femininity.  Peggy makes the conclusion that maybe that is why Cinderella is in Blue.

A few quotes I loved, made me think and want to share:

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 mangel Freud, maybe sometimes a princess is just a princess.

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.

Overall, this was an enjoyable read.  I would recommend to moms and women that consider themselves girly girls.  I am a girly girl and my daughter is fully into the pink phase, wants to wear a skirt but I have to put leggings or shorts under because she will be climbing, jumping in the sand right with the boys.

The main thing missing for me was Peggy giving examples specific to her daughter, I did wish it could have been more memoir than just non fiction.  This would have made it more real in a sense.  I think everyone that reads this will choose a different favourite chapter, they were pretty good.

I added this to my TBR List after reading over at Christa's blog Mental Foodie.


  1. Your daughters comment about the pink Kindle sounds like something I would say ;)

    Great honest review :)

  2. My 7 year old daughter is all about pink but is also a wicked tomboy who won't let me do anything with her messy hair. This contradiction is endearing but I'm super strict about her computer time. Definitely no chatting with anyone, period. Also, I think the key is open communication. She knows why I dislike Bratz and Monster High Girls and perfectly content with her Zoobles and LPS.

  3. Great review! I wouldn't say I'm a girly girl at all, though my niece is a hybrid between that and tomboy. Would be an interesting read!

  4. I'm really interested in this book, but I'm probably not the best judge since I don't have a daughter.

  5. I have a niece who is all over the pink world. It's quite cute actually, but yes, where they get the stuff from is important too. Like the chipmunk example you gave (which is so sweet!)

  6. I don't have a daughter yet but I would LOVE to read this book. I never really wondered why Cinderella was in blue but even that little blurb you included about how Pink was considered to be more masculine has me intrigued!! Thanks for the review!

    Lah @ LazyGirl Reads

  7. Thanks for commenting. I enjoyed this more than I thought for a NF. I definitely think it is worth the read for anyone interested but think moms of girls will appreciate it more.

  8. Glad you liked it - hey we agree on this book lol! :)

  9. My book club meets onTues and we have to compile a list of books we might wanna read in the new year. I am adding this one it just seems like a good discussion provoker.

    Our kids get bombarded left and right so we as parents DO have to be aware of what they are being told and what is influencing them.


  10. My daughter never went through a pink phase, never cared about the Princesses or Barbie, or dolls no matter how much I , the girlie-girl mom, wanted her to.

  11. Sounds like fun. I'm a girly girl for sure!

  12. Different read for you but very interesting. I have a boy so the whole girl/pink thing is beyond me.

    I'm not a girly girl but I would own a pink Kindle.

  13. I've been reading this one off and on for the past couple of months. It is interesting but at times I just want something "lighter" to read that will pull me into the story. Plus, it is a library book that I keep checking out and returning :) I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed this one.


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