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

3.64  ·  Rating Details ·  11,347 Ratings  ·  1,919 Reviews
The acclaimed author of the groundbreaking bestseller Schoolgirls reveals the dark side of pink and pretty: the rise of the girlie-girl, she warns, is not that innocent.

Sweet and sassy 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 exhilarat
Hardcover, 245 pages
Published January 25th 2011 by Harper
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Will Byrnes
Once upon a time it was considered attractive for women to have some actual flesh on them; small boys wore pink dresses while little girls wore blue; childrens television shows were not designed specifically to sell toy lines, and manufacturers did not push pink-colored merchandise for a vast range of products to enhance their bottom lines. Pre-teen girls were not encouraged to dress like streetwalkers and bump and grind like exotic dancers. Surely girls were never presented with a global range ...more
Feb 19, 2012 Michelle rated it it was ok
It was good but lacking. She skims over a lot of interesting questions and conflicts, but don't really explore a lot of other ones because of her feminist agenda (and I'm a feminist). This book also suffers from her white, liberal, and (relatively) rich guilt and blinders. There are quick fleeting mentions of race (the last chapter she talks about the Princess & the Frog, and I was frequenting face-palming and rubbing my temples, esp when she mention her biracial daughter), fat, and ...more
Skylar Burris
Mar 13, 2015 Skylar Burris marked it as unfinished
Shelves: sociology
Since I’m planning to take my daughter to Disney World for the first time some time in the next year, it seemed like a good time to read this. Of course, even at seven, she’s still more interested in Winnie the Pooh than in princesses. But, sure, she loves to dress up in gowns and necklaces and tutus, to put on pretend makeup (allowed only on weekends, in time for washing off for school). Admittedly, I’m not concerned that Cinderella has consumed her. If anything, I’m a little relieved that she ...more
Aug 28, 2013 Rowena rated it really liked it
Shelves: sociology, feminism
"We simply gave girls what they wanted." – Andy Mooney (Former Chairman of Disney Consumer Products)

This was a very insightful and interesting read, it was a very disturbing one as well. This book came about due to the fact that Orenstein gave birth to a baby girl and, as a result, a lot of things were on her mind about how she was going to raise a well-rounded girl, one who wasn’t obsessed with the (terrifying) princess culture and had a healthy self-esteem.

I don’t have any children but I d
Apr 12, 2011 Rhiannon rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Mommys, Daddys, Pre-School Teachers?
Recommended to Rhiannon by: The Feminist Readers Network on Goodreads
Here's the deal: The two stars - those are for me. To someone who has read a fair amount about children/gender and feminism in general, Orenstein does not offer anything new. If I was a new or future-mom, however, an average middle-class mom who hasn't read what could be considered a "feminist" book since college (or possibly never!), or just one who finds most children's toys essentially "harmless," I think this book could be a real eye-opener - I think it could easily deserve three or four ...more
Dec 07, 2011 Lara rated it it was ok
Shelves: feminism
This one was just okay for me. While she does make some great points about postmodern girlhood, many of her views are just as reactionary as the ones she criticizes. I actually could not finish this one because I kept getting annoyed with her logic. For instance, she criticizes Barbies, American Girl dolls, and baby dolls as being too limiting in the way they portray gender. Then, she discusses buying her daughter toy guns and Thomas the Train gear. Is she not just pushing her daughter into the ...more
Lit Bug
Sep 15, 2013 Lit Bug rated it really liked it
Recommended to Lit Bug by: Rowena
I find this much more difficult to review now than I initially thought - not because I am skeptical of its findings, but because, as Orenstein herself admits, it is a self-contradicting muddle - that claims to set women free as it manacles them.

For one, I was almost dizzy - living in the Third World, I had no idea what kind of life children have in the West (or at least the USA). Throughout the book, I couldn't help pausing to reflect into how different our lives are from the world that is portr
Cathy DuPont
Dec 02, 2012 Cathy DuPont rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Dads and Moms
Recommended to Cathy by: Will Byrnes
Living in the Oldest City in the United States, St. Augustine certainly has its challenges, first being the high number of tourists to visit the area a valid 2 million a year.

In the past they were mostly middle class with St. Augustine being their destination. However, with that said, in the past 20 years or more the complexion of the tourist has changed significantly. And numbers will bear out that the city is no longer the destination point, it’s a ‘side trip’ after Disney World.

Once in the c
Dec 03, 2010 Katie rated it liked it
Is it just me or are nonfiction books of this type getting shorter and ending in an increasingly abrupt manner? I was startled when I hit the end of this most recent offering from Ms. Orenstein; with a good pinch of pages left I thought I had just reached the end of a chapter, only to see the rest of the bulk consisted merely of acknowledgements, notes, and so forth.

This sudden drop off only adds to my list of frustrations with this interesting, well-intentioned, yet flawed book. As the mother o
Nanci Loves2Read**Warning**IWasASailor⚓️MyMouthisDirty
I read this when it first came out. It was the rave and I had a little princess so I was all for it! The title alone had me captivated. However, the rest of the book had me irritated.That said. This. Book. Was. Not. For. Me! Hated it! I ended up shipping it to either my sister or cousin just to get it out of my house. Yes, as a parent I often pick up books that will help me out or give me advice on other ways of parenting. I just don't believe Disney is the devil or that it absolutely wrong! To ...more
Feb 25, 2011 Adrian rated it did not like it
This is what Spencer calls "pop non-fiction", meaning that it's written in a way guaranteed to attract attention. The whole book read like it made sense, until you really started paying attention to what you were reading and realized that she's just stringing together sensational facts and not doing a whole lot of real research or thinking very logically. Yes, she interviewed experts and read articles (I think), but she also presents her own assumptions as fact, and her small sample sizes (i.e. ...more
Feb 24, 2014 Jim rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jim by: Will Byrnes
So here's the story. A bunch of people decided that it would be a good idea if they could sell some stuff to some girls, of which group Peggy Orenstein's daughter is a member. These people wanted to sell some really slutty toys and clothes and television programs and beauty pageants. Rather than take the hardline parent approach and say :"No slutty stuff for you", Peggy decided to write a book about it. That way she could warn the world about the slutification of womankind while filling her bank ...more
Jan 23, 2011 Veronica rated it really liked it
"How did you get through the princess stage?" That is in the top 5 questions I get asked by other moms, especially those I truly believe are turning to me as a feminist to guide them through the forest of pink. So it intrigued me to learn that even the famed Peggy Orenstein struggles with the princess phase.

Orenstein's book School Girls was pivotal in my growth as a young feminist. It detailed the trials of being a middle school girl with such genius that if she was a mom at my daughter's school
Jan 02, 2012 Coqueline rated it liked it
The book deals with the issue that is very dear to me, as mother of a 5 year old, who has begun to embrace pink and princesses.

The book was a fast and enjoyable read, but lacking in conclusion, which make it sounds more like a compilation of blog posts than an actual book. I thoroughly enjoyed the parts where she went researching, getting professional insights and putting in historical context to the issue, but find it bewildering when she started to relate them to her own daughter and parenting
Sep 28, 2011 Elise rated it it was ok
Shelves: parenting
2.5 stars. There was interesting information here, and I definitely agree that today's society focuses far too much on outward appearance.

And I am all for a decrease in materialism and consumerism and riding on the trends of the media.

However. I never really saw the link between playing princess and becoming a slutty Britney Spears.

As long as parents make an effort to teach that inward beauty is far more important than outward beauty, I see no harm in letting my daughter dress-up in princess dr
When I finally managed to get hold of a copy of this very contemporary piece of non-fiction (this hardback book has very clearly been written for the U.S. market hence it is not available through my local library services) I was immediatly aghast at the hideously-pink and glittery dustjacket. I felt uncomfortable handling the book, which has led me to think a lot about why, and of course to carefully consider what 'girlie-girl' culture meant and means to me personally.

This book was voted as the
I don't have children, and I don't teach children. I picked up this book in part due to an interview on NPR and after seeing prostitots in the malls. I should also note I had Barbies when I was kid. They got trampled by thier horses a lot. But at least, during my childhood, Barbie could be a vet. I also don't understand why girls wear pants with the word 'juciy' written across the butt.

Peggy Orenstein's book is a good look at the effects and causes of girlie-girl culture. If you are a Twilight
Mar 09, 2011 Ciara rated it liked it
an interesting look at how highly gendered girlie-girl culture is being marketed to increasingly younger girls. but in orenstein's quest to determine whether or not all things pink & princess-y hurt little girls, or whether there is a biological component to their attraction to pink & dolls & princesses, she takes on some pretty obvious targets. she criticizes bratz dolls for being too sexualized. she attends a high glitz little kid beauty pageant. she comments on how expensive ...more
Jul 16, 2011 Meg rated it really liked it
Shelves: parenting
I appreciated that the author was honest about the fact that she was wrestling with some of the very same issues I am as the mother of a 3-year-old girl -- how to navigate the girlie-girl culture while keeping her a little girl with a smart head on her shoulders, a confident heart, and equipped for the "real" world. The author bashed just about everything out there, but ended with good advice.
page 192:
"...our role is not to keep the world at bay but to prepare our daughters so they can thrive wi
Apr 07, 2011 Antje rated it it was ok
Shelves: feminism
Yesterday I finished our Group read book and was really disapointed! I admit, I did have great expectations. In the 80s I was quite into the subject of gender specific socialisation and I thought, after so many years, there would not just be some better scientific studies availiable, I hoped for a change in every daay life as well!
Obviously I was wrong: Most of the studies on which Peggy Orenstein based her book, didn't reveal new results and everyday life has changed, but not to the better.
Jan 09, 2012 Taylor rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Much like the Disney Princesses , there wasn't a whole lot of depth to this book. It felt like a paper I might have written early on in college-- not heavily enough researched and with far too much jumping to conclusions. Orenstein herself doesn't really know where she stands, and her constant back and forth is not only annoying, it weakens her argument. Princess culture is destroying our children and families and we must take a stand... or is it not? Not being absolute is one thing, but making ...more
Dec 16, 2011 Krista rated it really liked it
Read. This.

Orenstein won me over whole-heartedly in this book when she ripped Bella Swan to shreds. Bella Swan is a twit to end all twits. Queen of the pathetic. Least of the lame. Why. Whywhywhywhywhywhywhy?

We have a lot to do, ladies. A long way to go. Still.
Aug 12, 2012 Helynne rated it really liked it
Author Peggy Orenstein’s four-year-old daughter Daisy loved to wear engineers’ overalls with the complementing bandana and hat until a boy on the playground yelled to her, “Girls don’t like trains!” After that, Daisy jettisoned the engineer garb and went off and running with the Disney princesses, Barbies, the color pink, and all the other trappings of what Orenstein calls “the new girlie-girlie culture.” “And what was the first thing that culture told [my daughter] about being a girl?” the ...more
Mar 02, 2012 E rated it it was amazing
Shelves: politics-history
When I was growing up, I had a hard time remembering that McDonald's and Disney were not the same company. I still have a hard time remembering that. Both aggressively market products few can spend their entire lives resisting because their advertising budgets are unrivaled and because they have mastered the recipes for broad appeal. Both are aggressively exported to other countries, representing all that is optimistic, colorful, unsubtle and unhealthy about America. Both are harmless in small ...more
Mar 29, 2011 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This book gets high marks for being both immensely thought-provoking and very readable. The author discusses her own attempts to fight the good fight (against culture) in raising her daughter--particularly how and why the pink-princess-girlie-girly culture might be detrimental to young girls. The book has caused me to question some of the decisions I am making in raising Catherine, particularly in regard to media influence, the ways in which I have promoted narcissism/consumerism, and the ways ...more
Well written, but...

I have reservations. I enjoyed reading the book enormously. Orenstein is funny, and she can turn a phrase. The downside is, her funniest phrases all have to do with girls looking slutty. If she isn't the one who coined "prosti-tot" she could have been.

I'm the mother of two girls, so I share her concerns about how popular culture in the US might be affecting girls. A valid consideration for every parent, not just those who make their living reporting on girls. On the other ha
Emi Bevacqua
May 08, 2011 Emi Bevacqua rated it liked it
I had unrealistically high expectations for this book. I agreed so whole-heartedly with its premise and have so much else in common with the author: we were born in the 60s, we worked in NYC and moved to California, we both had infertility issues and now she has a daughter and I have daughters.

I found it entertaining but nowhere near as educational as I had hoped. To be fair, I think all the learning bits came out months earlier in a media blitz. From reading the book I did learn plenty of inte
May 30, 2013 Chris rated it really liked it
I wanted this book to be better. Now, that may be an odd opening considering I gave it 4 stars, but those stars are there for people who are reading this as their first introduction to gender issues in marketing and culture. Orenstein is an excellent author, no doubt, though I have admittedly never read her other works, so I can't make too many broad characterizations. I just wanted more... oomph. She would set up very interesting lines of argument, then undermine herself at the end by waffling. ...more
Sep 15, 2011 willaful rated it liked it
A lively, witty, sometimes insightful book but ultimately somewhat disappointing. I sympathized with Orenstein's personal conflicts about "girlie-girl culture," even at second hand (I have a son, but I know my mom went through many of the same issues with my sister and I) and appreciated her personal reflections:

“I am hardly one to judge other mothers’ choices: my own behavior has been hypocritical, inconsistent, even reactionary.”

“I felt as though Ty Girls had me over a barrel, a barrel to whos
Jan 23, 2012 Tracy rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. Orenstein's combination of research with memoir is very effective. It was easy to connect with her on a personal level (and believe me, I did, seeing as we share many of the same anxieties about raising daughters), but every story that Orenstein starts as an intimate tale of parenting she then backs up with solid facts and studies. Some readers might be disappointed that this book offers little in the way of solutions to the problems posed, but that is not what this is about. ...more
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Peggy Orenstein is the author, most recently, of Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture. Her previous books include The New York Times best-selling memoir, Waiting for Daisy; Flux: Women on Sex, Work, Kids, Love and Life in a Half-Changed World; and the best-selling SchoolGirls: Young Women, Self-Esteem and the Confidence Gap. A contributing ...more
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“But it is Bella, not the supernaturals she falls in with, who is the true horror show here, at least as a female role model.” 19 likes
“There is only one princess in the Disney tales, one girl who gets to be exalted. Princesses may confide in a sympathetic mouse or teacup, but they do not have girlfriends. God forbid Snow White should give Sleeping Beauty a little support. Let's review: princesses avoid female bonding. Their goals are to be saved by a prince, get married, and be taken care of the rest of their lives.” 17 likes
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