Wednesday, April 11, 2012

"Cinderella At My Daughter," the book that made my eyeballs pop out of their sockets at the "OMG THAT'S MY LIFE" quality of it

I read this book. AND IT WAS AMAZING.

IT'S PLOT SYNOPSIS TIME (thank you Amazon):
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.
But, realistically, how many times can you say no when your daughter begs for a pint-size wedding gown or the latest Hannah Montana CD? And how dangerous is pink and pretty anyway—especially given girls' successes in the classroom and on the playing field? Being a princess is just make-believe, after all; eventually they grow out of it. Or do they? Does playing Cinderella shield girls from early sexualization—or prime them for it? Could today's little princess become tomorrow's sexting teen? And what if she does? Would that make her in charge of her sexuality—or an unwitting captive to it?
Those questions hit home with Peggy Orenstein, so she went sleuthing. She visited Disneyland and the international toy fair, trolled American Girl Place and Pottery Barn Kids, and met beauty pageant parents with preschoolers tricked out like Vegas showgirls. She dissected the science, created an online avatar, and parsed the original fairy tales. The stakes turn out to be higher than she—or we—ever imagined: nothing less than the health, development, and futures of our girls. From premature sexualization to the risk of depression to rising rates of narcissism, the potential negative impact of this new girlie-girl culture is undeniable—yet armed with awareness and recognition, parents can effectively counterbalance its influence in their daughters' lives.
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.
Basically this book is about how "girlie-girl" toys and marketing affect young girls, if you didn't want to read all that.

This book, besides being pretty much amazing, dissected every girl culture fad from the 21st century, AKA my childhood: American Girl dolls, Twilight's popularity, the Disney Princesses, the Disney stars, EVERYTHING. AND SHE WAS SO RIGHT!

Some of this book was a little bit far-fetched for me though. I experienced everything she talked about in the book, and I don't think I'm "damaged" like she fears. I don't undermine fellow girls and I don't have that much of a problem communicating with boys. But still. This book was so gaspingly amazing.

I highly recommend this book, especially for girls my age, because we've experienced first-hand everything she wrote about.

So I rate this book 4.75 Milky Way bars out of 5 Milky Way bars. It was JUST THAT GOOD.
What do you guys think? Have you read this book? Do you think that 21st century girl culture is hampering to young girls or is it beneficial to them? Do you think girl culture is better now than in the past? Who do you think girls should idolize instead of idolizing stars like Miley Cyrus etc?


  1. I read a review of this book awhile back and was wondering if it was any good. I guess growing up in the 80's and 90's had to have had some sort of influence on me, but I don't really even think about it like that. When I think of the forces that influenced who I am and my decision-making and stuff, it's more personal-- like my parent's influence and stuff.

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  3. I haven't been on blogs in a while (notice my lack of commenting) but you have been nominated for a "Blog That Makes me Smile award" and its like a chain award, so yeah..

  4. I have not read this book, but now I have to, it sounds so good... especially since I did grow up with a lot of that stuff. I remember having barbies and polly pockets and feeling like all my friends knew more about being a teenager than I did in elementary school.
    I was also raised in the kind of house where you're expected to try your best and where I was always told that I was capable of doing anything, though, so I feel like it's okay to let girls be swayed by that as long as you continue to tell them, you can do anything, you can be anything, you are good enough/smart enough/etc.

    I think culture now has gotten a lot better, though. As in, less sexist.

    I think as kids it's fine for girls to idolize stars like Miley Cyrus etc, but hopefully they grow out of that or come up with more mature reasons why they idolize someone, instead of just "she's pretty" etc.

    Again, I'm going to have to read this book now, it sounds VERY interesting. Thanks for the review!

  5. I read it! It was too short :( But, I enjoyed it. :) Thanks for the review!

  6. Sounds excellent!

    I think the constant pressure to make little girls into objects is damaging to some. The media wants to make us into objects they can force their products on. It's all a money-making scheme, because money is far more important than the state of our emotions, because those can be altered in public.
    It really did deserve a book!
    Great blog by the way, I'm following!

  7. Great review :)

  8. I don't know if you remember me, but I miss you Jenna!

  9. JENNNA! It's me. Just to let you know, I've started a new blog, if you ever see this I'd like you to check it out and whatnot :)

  10. Jenna! I don't know if you remember me at all (I guess I'm in the awkward group with Amy up there ^) but I was thinking about your blog, and stopped by to say hey. So...umm....hey!


  11. really cool post, I read a book like that but it focused more on the gender expectations placed on both boys and girls from childhood. I'm trying to surround my 7 year old sister with positive influences, but it's really hard to do when my parents don't recognise it and or even.. care. All her toys she's given are about make up and fashion and it makes me sad to see her developing materialistic values at such a young age.


  12. This book sounds good, I might read it one day :) I love your blog and could you check out mine?

  13. Wow, that book sounds interesting. I live in the UK so maybe some of the fads it talks about won't apply to me though. It would be ideal for little girls to look up to women who had really achieved stuff, scientists etc, but i don't think that's gonna happen anytime soon- I know I wouldn't have been interested in that when I was little! (

  14. I've spent the last two days reading your blog and I wish you would write more!
    I have put you on my 'blog' list on my own blog
    Check it out if you are bored or something:) xx

  15. Thank you for showing me the first book I need to purchase with my book vouchers this Christmas. This book sounds amazing! I cannot wait to get stuck into it! :D

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  18. This book sounds AMAZING!!!!! I need to read it! I havent fully developed my opinion on all that stuff just yet but boy do I find it fascinating!!

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