Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Frontlines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture
by Peggy Orenstein
- Pages: 288
- ISBN: 0061711527
- Link: Goodreads
- Format: Hardcover
- Published on: February 1st 2011
- Published by: Harper
I was looking forward to reading Peggy Orenstein’s Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Frontlines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture, despite not having a daughter myself. While reading Orenstein’s book, I tried to remember what playing was like as a kid. The Disney Princess thing wasn’t big yet. In fact, my favorite Disney movie as a kid was Dumbo, a movie clearly without a princess (and it wasn’t until I got older that I became aware of the racism in the movie).
In Cinderella Ate My Daughter, Orenstein asked the question “do girls like pink because of the way it’s marketed to them or because they are biologically inclined to do so?” In attempting to answer that question, she goes after some pretty obvious targets: Bratz dolls are over sexualized, beauty pageants put excessive pressure on kids, etc. These criticisms are nothing new. Furthermore, while I believe that Orenstein spoke to experts, read stuff, and generally tried to do research for Cinderella Ate My Daughter, it seemed like she was basing some of her assertions solely on her experiences with her daughter and her daughter’s classmates. I don’t think it’s entirely wrong to use personal experience to an extent, but it’s also important to remember that experiences aren’t necessarily universal, either. Part of the problem with books like this that don’t make use of bibliographies is that it can be hard to discern what information came from where.
While Orenstein asks a lot of questions, she seems doesn’t really draw any conclusions in Cinderella Ate My Daughter. In fact, she seems very reluctant to do so. While I thought Cinderella At My Daughter was an entertaining read, I didn’t think Orenstein brought anything new to the table.