My most turbulent experience with what author Peggy Orenstein
calls "the new girlie girl culture" arrived with a permission slip my
Katie wanted me to sign. Her Girl Scout troop had been chosen to
receive a highly coveted prize--a sleepover at the mall. Stores would
be opened for their shopping pleasure. Girl Scouts had been there for
me and even my mother as an affirmation that we could be authentic
achievers, loyal friends, and world class survival campers in the face
of limitations the outside world strove to impose. And now, with the
world so vigorously reinforcing girls' identity as consumers, they
were throwing in the towel.
If you're raising a daughter, I suspect you're having your own
"what the heck..." experiences. If so read Cinderella Ate My
Daughter. Orenstein is a parent like us. She's up front about what
she's confronting as her child's advocate. She raises a lot of good
--Is dressing like a Disney princess harmless fun or does it set a
girl up to fixate on appearance as identity?
--is the difference between beauty pageant parents and the rest of us
one of degree, not kind?
--Do children playing with movie or TV based licensed products follow
already developed scripts at the expense of creativity and imagination?
--How are our daughters effected by the wholesome to whoresome
transition of idols like Mikey Cyrus?
"Just Between You, Me, and My 622 BFFs" was the chapter that
gave me the most food for thought. The real eye opener for me wasn't
cyberbullying or sexting. It was the way Facebook and similar sites
have changed the way teens perceive themselves. Do you remember the
self consciousness of your middle and high school years? Now try to
imagine your audience expanding to include hundreds of people you've
never met who can instantly and publicly comment on every aspect of
your projected image. Holy cow!
"Cinderella Ate My Daughter" is perfect for book clubs. It is
meant to be discussed.
Coming attractions: next we're going to head into the kitchen
to eat naked and eat local.
On a personal note: if you (like me) can't pass up yard sales,
you're in a position to stock up on books for winter reading.
Finally, a big shout out to my wonderful daughters, Amber and
Katie, who survived the pink jungle and grew up to be assertive,
creative, confident women any parent would be proud of.
Sent from my iPod