Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front-Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture by Peggy Orenstein, narrated by Peggy Orenstein
Published in audio by Harper Audio, published in print by Harper Books, both imprints of HarperCollins
Little girlhood these days is the land of pink and princesses, seemingly more than ever before. In Cinderella Ate My Daughter, Orenstein recounts how the Girl Power of the 1990s has morphed to become a girl culture that is all about looks. Little girls are typically complimented on their looks while boys get complimented on intelligence or achievement. What does this obsession with looks and femininity do to our daughters, and how do we combat it?
Thoughts on the story:
I’ve been aware of Orenstein’s book since it was published last year, but hadn’t even gotten around to picking it up. Once I had twin daughters, though, it suddenly seemed like a more important book to read. Orenstein lays out her premise very clearly and in an interesting and easy-to-understand manner. The anecdotes about the extreme princess-ization (I’m pretty sure I just made that word up, shh!) of young girls was a bit troubling – not to mention something I was observing myself, as at least 1/4 of the outfits the girls have seem to say “princess” on them. I’m still not sure that I’m 100% sure that the princess-phase leads to the overly precocious sexytimesgirl phase, but much of what Orenstein writes about the commoditization of girlhood and femininity rings very true. I would have loved some concrete ways to fight this problem at home, but unfortunately it is a societal issue – even girls whose mothers think they are sheltering them from the princess phenomenon are going to learn about it elsewhere. Still, there was information that seems directly helpful in the process of raising girls, even if most of the information is philosophical and societal.
Thoughts on the audio production:
Orenstein is very passionate about this topic; it is something that she became personally interested in after having her own daughter and worrying about how the girlie-girl culture affects her. I’m generally hesitant to listen to audiobooks narrated by the author, but Orenstein’s enthusiasm makes her narration interesting to listen to and in turn make Cinderella Ate My Daughter all the more engaging.
A fascinating exploration of little girl culture and the impact it has on the way that girls are raised. Recommended.
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