Cinderella Ate My Daughter

  • by Peggy Orenstein
  • Narrated by Peggy Orenstein
  • 6 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

No solution just worry

Hide your daughters 'cause it's a big bad world out there in pink taffeta. For the positive, I learned some interesting bits of trivia about Disney princesses and European fairy tales. Otherwise I found it to be a big book of worry that offered few if any solutions of what to do about all the evils of modern American consumerist life that threatens to engulf girls in a pink tide of an unreal sense of self, princess fantasy, and an over reliance on looks over feelings. Okay, it is a dispatch from the "front lines" of girlie culture and not a guide book with any solutions. Best to follow this up with a book by an expert and not a journalist who can help parents move from the battle lines to more peaceful shores.
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- Marie "Professional librarian type, amateur historian."

Engaging discourse about gender construction.

Would you consider the audio edition of Cinderella Ate My Daughter to be better than the print version?

Yes, it's a complicated topic, and the author reading the book makes the feminist dialogue easier to understand. It is more like having a conversation with Peggy, discussing opinions of gender instead of reading a long lecture.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Cinderella Ate My Daughter?

When she discusses allowing her daughter to have choice, instead of coercing her towards commercial femininity or coercing her away from it. I though that was a very relevant and poignant passage as eventually it's a complicated issue and her daughter can be as typically feminine princess-y as she wants.

What did you learn from Cinderella Ate My Daughter that you would use in your daily life?

That it's important to discuss commercialization of media with your children so they can on some level engage with the socialization of gender, instead of commanding them to present their gender one way or another.

Any additional comments?

Brilliant, thoroughly enjoyable.

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- Jon

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-12-2012
  • Publisher: HarperAudio