You know those books you pick up, start reading page after page, and just can’t put down? Cinderella Ate My Daughteris not one of them.
It is, in fact, quite easy to put down in between chapters, giving you time to walk around the house and add more stuff to the Goodwill pile. Stuff like, saaaay, any seemingly innocent doll or toy that ends in a Z, or looks like it should. Here’s a good example of something I felt we could do without:
Mama, where are her nipples? Well, you know, only breasts that nurse babies have nipples. Um, this doll’s too young to have nipples. It’s called Women’z Lib- the right to go braless and nippleless. Oh, go ask Barbie!
At least she’s wearing her sparkly Victoriaz Secret boyshorts:
So I said adioz to the two Girlz dolls my girls received at Christmas. And while I was at it, I chucked any bookz and clothez that were questionable, too.
In Cinderella Ate My Daughter, Peggy Orenstein presents the facts, icky as they are, about how the ‘pink and princess’ toy and marketing industries mess with our daughters’ ever-decreasing childhood. She specifically calls out the Disney Princesses, and makes you see Disney in a whole new light.
Within the first few pages, I truly felt as if Peggy Orenstein was talking directly to me. This line, in particular, touched a nerve:
It is tempting, as a parent, to give the new pink-and-pretty a pass. There is already so much to be vigilant about, and the limits of our tolerance, along with our energy, slip a little with each child we have.
So true, Peggy! Life for my second, third, and fourth children has been so much different than it was for my first. So many of my ideals have been compromised, both out of personal necessity and sanity, and out of subtle and not so subtle pressure from close friends and family.
Examples abound and usually revolve around gifts. Well-meaning guests have brought my boys scientific microscopes and my girls ballerina stickers. Or the boys are given cars while the girls receive pink stickers. My boys have drooled over the stickers, while my older daughter has asked why she didn’t get a car. And then there’s the gifts of praise to deal with. Visitors usually compliment my boys on their smarts or physical abilities while my daughters are stuck with, “You’re so pretty!” or “You look just like a princess!” I say ‘stuck’ because there has to be more to being a girl than physical beauty. Peggy discusses how to help our daughters see themselves from the inside out rather than the outside in.
My parenting philosophy leads me to create as much gender balance as possible so my kids see the world as full of unlimited options and not just boy vs. girl choices. I know I can’t shield my daughters from a world that emphasizes appearance and play-sexiness, but I can be proactive in exposing them to diverse role models that go way beyond Cinderella. I can make informed decisions about the toys and clothes I choose to buy. I can communicate honestly and openly as we navigate through childhood and beyond. Cinderella Ate My Daughter gave me the awareness and power to do so.
And because I believe everything in moderation, even moderation, I just couldn’t part with this puzzle. See that princess in the middle?
Here’s a picture of her up close:
|You go, girl!
And now, I have an announcement to make. No. I’m. Not. Pregnant. I’m doing my very first giveaway ever! If you’d like a chance to win a signed copy of Cinderella Ate My Daughter, leave a comment below. That’s it! Easy right? I will choose a winner at random and announce it here on Tax Day, in case you need some good news. If you’d like better odds, do any of the following for extra entries: become a subscriber, follow me on twitter @theaumsmama, comment anywhere else on my blog, and just for fun (and more giveaway swag) leave a comment at sixyearitch because I owe her some luv. Tell her Cinderella sent you!