Cinderella Ate My Daughter

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.

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

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.

packaging girlhood…

Girls and boys, men and women, aren’t very different. Looking around at American society, you would never guess that. In their book, Packaging Girlhood, Sharon Lamb and Lyn Mikel Brown examine the societal aspects which strive to make these gender distinctions and how that affects our daughters. While many would claim genetics and hormonal differences dictate such differences between the genders, Lamb and Brown make a compelling argument that our male dominated society is so driven by marketers – from baby pink onesies and dolls to sexy shopping teenagers and young women to the lack of strong females in books, movies, music, or even advertising. Marketers know how to the play the game, and that game is creating a society that plays into buying their products. Our daughters are the ones who suffer most.

If you have a girl in your life, I recommend reading this eye opening book. While some of the examples are  dated back to 2004/2005, marketers haven’t changed in any recent history. The same gender distinctions are merely repackaged. Even individuals who feel they are cognizant of gender stereotyping may rethink how they look at some things. Read the book and then take the authors’ advice: talk to your daughters.