Cinderella, My Daughter’s Not On the Menu!

by Christine@TheAums on April 12, 2011 · 16 comments

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:

 So sweet and innocent…until she flashed my daughter:

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!

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle April 12, 2011 at 12:33 pm

I really must read this book I loved the review and have also read good stuff about it on Pigtail Pals blog


The Aums Mama April 12, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Good luck, Michelle! Thanks so much for stopping by…I'll have to check out Pigtail Pals.


sharon April 12, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Thanks for the book review! I downloaded this book to my Kindle after we talked about it on #pschat… but it hasn't made it to the top of my "reading list" as of yet. But I will try to get to it soon, because so much of what you've said here applies to me too.


Stephanie April 13, 2011 at 12:10 am

great post! I struggle with the whole princess cr*p, can't wait to check out this book –it'll get me ready for when those creepy gifts start rolling in. :)


Mom Hearts Pinot April 13, 2011 at 2:51 am

I've heard so much about this book! Anna's only 19 months old, but I spend alot of time worrying over whether or not she'll be sucked into a world of pink and frill!

Your post had me cracking up- especially about the Bratz- I have never seen one undressed before and that is hilariously horrifying!


Mom Hearts Pinot April 13, 2011 at 2:51 am

p.s. you know I've already go you on Twitter! haha


differentbreed April 13, 2011 at 3:18 am

I have been wanting to read this book! Thanks for the review!



Gabriela - Living La Vida Normal April 13, 2011 at 7:17 pm

I'm so glad someone wrote a book about this very thing. I have boys but I see my friends' daughters get sucked into this.

If I win, I have one friend in particular I would LOVE to pass this on to.


Gabriela April 13, 2011 at 7:17 pm

I subscribe in Google Reader


Gabriela - Living La Vida Normal April 13, 2011 at 7:17 pm

I follow you on Twitter


The Aums Mama April 13, 2011 at 8:19 pm

Thanks so much for entering my first giveaway! I'm excited to see who wins!


Nadine April 13, 2011 at 10:09 pm

Right on sister momma! Great topic. We proudly wore our "Ms" T-shirts growing up in the 70's as our own moms worked to create the opportunities we have today. Let's keep it up for our daughters.


Mry Jhnsn April 14, 2011 at 1:51 am

Well, at least she had on panties *big eye roll*. What happened to I am woman here me roar? Great review.


Mry Jhnsn April 14, 2011 at 1:51 am

I follow you on twitter :)


nicole April 16, 2011 at 3:39 pm

Thanks for the review. I'm eager to read the book.


Nicole April 28, 2011 at 11:05 am

I would have loved to win a signed copy! :-) I'm reading this book right now. I just picked it up along with her book school girls. I have three daughters that I don't know how I'm going to raise while keeping my sanity…haha. Great post!


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