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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

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  15,772 ratings  ·  2,119 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 exhilarati
Hardcover, 245 pages
Published January 25th 2011 by Harper
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Sarah This is an older book, but I still remember it as impactful and hope to share it with my daughter when she hits her upper teen years: The Body Project…moreThis is an older book, but I still remember it as impactful and hope to share it with my daughter when she hits her upper teen years: The Body Project: An Intimate History of American Girls by Joan Jacobs Brumberg.(less)

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Start your review of Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Frontlines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture
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
Aug 20, 2011 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 sexuality. A ...more
Skylar Burris
Apr 28, 2011 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 24, 2013 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
Mar 09, 2011 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 sta ...more
Aug 04, 2011 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
Aug 26, 2013 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
Nov 14, 2012 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
Nanci **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
Nov 27, 2010 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
May 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Those interested in issues concerning females and society, parents, educators

An important read. Peggy Orenstein argued with intelligence and eye-opening research and was never afraid to delve right into the heart of the matter, which is this: Why is the (stereotypically) feminine inherently viewed as less-than? What's especially unsettling are the sections on Disney and just how dominant an influence it is on the young. She shined the brightest light on how absurd it is that one company has almost a monopoly on all things "kid." (Orenstein pointed out ho
Emm C²
Nov 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: parents of daughters; humans in general
The materialism and obsessiveness of the 21st century is pretty disturbing, I'll be honest. It's fine to want nice things or to look beautiful. It's natural to want these. But where is the line between actually wanting and being forced to buy them or to look good, just to match the rest?

Orenstein's book takes a very in-depth look at the methods in which young girls are being put on the latter half of that line through advertising and media pressure.
All of whom just want to sell them a product, b
Nov 01, 2013 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
Feb 25, 2011 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
Nov 21, 2011 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 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
Oct 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommended to El by: The F-Word
When I picked this book up from the campus library, my librarian-friend commented, "This looks interesting," she handed the book to me. "But I'm glad things are better now." This book, published in 2011, already seems like old information to this person. Granted, she's a few years younger than myself, and she has a very young daughter, so maybe she does have a better sense as to whether or not things are "better" or not.

I'm not as confident.

True, everything Orenstein wrote in this book in 2011 i
Nov 24, 2010 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
Mar 23, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Oct 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
I was surprised by how much this book interested me and how quickly I read it. While one obvious market for CINDERELLA will be the parents of young girls, it will also attract the attention of those interested in gender equality, sociology, and the rapid and profound ways childhood has changed over a few generations.

Looking at today's hyper-gendered world of play, women my age and older frequently identify their child selves as "tomboys," even when they really weren't. I grew up among gender-se
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
Nov 15, 2010 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 d ...more
Kaethe Douglas
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 h
Crystal Starr Light
Jun 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
I don't know if I can write a review that will do justice to this book, but I at least want to say a few things about my reading experience/thoughts/opinions.

First off, I thought the writing was intelligent and engaging. Orenstein includes a quite hefty Citations/Bibliography at the end of the book that provides references for the sources she mentions in the text (there are no notations in-text, which make for easy reading).

I felt that Orenstein research her topic thoroughly, and I liked how she
Feb 10, 2011 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
Nov 28, 2011 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.
Mar 09, 2011 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 american girl toy ...more
Jan 08, 2012 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
Sandra E
Aug 14, 2014 rated it did not like it
Awful, awful, awful. For someone who claims to be a feminist, she brings down everything and anything feminine, and thinks that if you act more like a boy, then you are somehow a better girl?

Let's get this straight: there is NOTHING wrong with disney princesses, barbies, or the colour pink. You are not somehow shallow for enjoying these things, and like, congrats, Peggy Orenstein, you acted like a tomboy as a kid, want a cookie? *rolls my eyes*

No, but seriously, what's wrong with being girly? (
Mar 27, 2011 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.
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Peggy Orenstein is a best-selling author and a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine. Orenstein has also written for such publications as The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Vogue, Elle, Discover, More, Mother Jones, Salon, O: The Oprah Magazine, and The New Yorker, and has contributed commentaries to NPR’s All Things Considered. Her articles have been anthologized multiple times, incl ...more

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Ciannon Smart has been holed up in her England home since the pandemic began a year ago, but by no means has she been idle. She’s been on...
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“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.” 20 likes
“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.” 18 likes
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