Staci's Reviews > Cinderella Ate My Daughter

Cinderella Ate My Daughter by Peggy Orenstein
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Apr 12, 12

bookshelves: 2012, book-club
Read in April, 2012

I'm a bit stumped on what to say about this book. Not a book I chose to read in its entirety. I became tired of pop-culture being shoved at me. I don't have daughters, and I don't think of myself as a girlie-girl so I may be among the minority. Is pop-culture REALLY that much of an influence in people's lives? TURN OFF THE TV. STOP BUYING PEOPLE / US Weekly / Entertainment Weekly etc. Reinforce what is real and what is not.

My breaking point came when Peggy tackled The Dangerous Book for Boys and The Daring Book for Girls. She criticized fathers "...for their own huckleberry childhoods, those halcyon days before cable, Wii, Facebook, and cell phones...." Is it the general public's fault that they are nostalgic for such days? They were good! They were fun! My boys completely enjoy and fall to bed completely exhausted when they spend days participating in such activities.

At the end of Chapter 8 (It's All About the Cape), the author reaches the conclusion that it would be best to rip off the covers of all the books and let children choose for themselves the activities they find feminine or masculine or just plain fun. Do you really have to rip off the cover of a book to let them do that?

She has a great point one paragraph down (which unexpectedly jumps back to a topic she discussed earlier in the chapter)
I know that if I could imbue her with a superpower, it would be the ability to withstand the pressures of the culture around her, to be her own woman despite the potential costs: I would give her the courage of her convictions, the power to be the hero of her own story without ambivalence or fear, to embrace her gifts regardless of her body's size or shape - even if I have not been fully able to embrace mine.


Ms. Orenstein's error is that she is looking for someone else to provide a road map that will turn her daughter into the woman Ms. Orenstein wants her to become. What if Daisy doesn't want that?

Here's my advice: Be an active parent. Establish reality boundaries. Teach your child. Play with your child. Encourage your child. Love your child. Let your child be a child.

I didn't even touch on the writing style that drove me C R A Z Y...
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