Cinderella Ate My Daughter is a frightful book that tackles the way girls are marketed to from the moment they are born.
As a father of a six month old girl, I was curious about the color pink and princesses. See, my mother who bought us boys dolls of all kinds and My Little Ponies in order to help us better empathize with women, now only wants to buy my daughter pink and princesses. My mother also bought us boys all the boy toys too. She taught us how to cook and sew. I'm a good housekeeper.
However, my mother, who is most likely teasing me, wants to bring into my house a pink princess castle. I've said no a dozen times, but not really knowing why I was saying no. Well, other than when I was a kid, a princess was the kind of girl to be avoided. Princesses always needed saving, and once saved, seemed to take all the fun out of everything by wanting to play house.
Anyway, the book does a great job running through the history of both the color pink and princesses. I now have a few good reasons to limit my daughter's exposure to pink and princesses.
1. Pink is only one color.
2. Princesses lead to materialism and consumerism
3. Both limit imagination
4. Both alienate intersex play
5. Both lead girls to focus on looks instead of feelings.
There are even more reasons, but those are my big five. Yet, pink and princesses are important to girls, and once my daughter starts school will need to understand them. The key, I believe is to limit. I want my daughter to know ia is not limited and that I respect both women and femininity. Not all pink is bad.
A must read for parents of girls!
Orenstein, Peggy. Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture. New York: HarperCollins, 2011.