Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches From The Front Lines Of The New Girlie-girl Culture
- Number of Pages: 272
- English (Unknown)
- English (Original Language)
- English (Published)
Pink and pretty 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 among the exhilarating rise of Girl Power within the 1990s and today, the pursuit of physical perfection has been recast as a source— the source— of female empowerment. And commercialization has spread the message more rapidly and farther, reaching girls at ever-younger ages.
But, realistically, how many times can you say no when your daughter begs for a pint-size wedding gown or the latest Hannah Montana CD? Being a princess is just make-believe, after all; eventually they grow out of it. Or do they? And how dangerous is pink and pretty anyway— especially given girls' successes in the classroom and on the playing field? And what if she does? Would that make her in charge of her sexuality— or an unwitting captive to it? Does playing Cinderella shield girls from early sexualization— or prime them for it? Could today's little princess grow to be tomorrow's sexting teen?
Those issues hit home with Peggy Orenstein, so she went sleuthing. The stakes turn out to turn into higher than she— or we— ever imagined: nothing at all significantly much less than the health, development, and futures of our girls. From premature sexualization to the threat of depression to rising rates of narcissism, the possible unfavorable impact of this new girlie-girl culture is undeniable— yet armed with awareness and recognition, parents can effectively counterbalance its influence in their daughters' lives. She visited Disneyland also as the international toy fair, trolled American Girl Place and Pottery Barn Kids, and met beauty pageant parents with preschoolers tricked out like Vegas showgirls. She dissected the science, created an online avatar, and parsed the original fairy tales.
As a mom, I admit, I was initially tempted to give the new culture of pink and pretty a pass. There are currently numerous things to be vigilant about as a parent; my energy was stretched to its limit. Girls will be girls, proper? So my daughter slept in a Cinderella gown for a quantity of years.
They will— and that is exactly why we ought to spend more, rather than less, attention to what's happening in their world. The percentage of eight- to twelve-year-old girls wearing eyeliner or mascara has doubled in the last TWO years (I ask you: shouldn't the percentage of eight-year-olds wearing eyeliner be zero? Meanwhile, the marketing of pink, pretty, and “ sassy” has develop to be a gigantic business: the Disney Princesses alone are pulling in 4 BILLION dollars in revenue annually. A researcher told me that when she asks teenage girls how a sexual experience felt to them they respond by telling her how they assume they looked. ). Yet appropriate here we are with nearly half of six-year-old girls regularly utilizing lipstick or lip gloss. In accordance utilizing the American Psychological Association, the emphasis on beauty and play-sexiness at ever-younger ages is increasing girls' vulnerability to the pitfalls that most concern parents: consuming disorders, negative physique image, depression, risky sexual behavior.
So much is at stake, for mothers with girls of all ages: How do we define girlhood? What about femininity? Our choices will tell our girls how we see them, who we want them to be, our values, expectations, hopes, and dreams. Do we want them to be judged by the content material of their character or the color of their lip gloss? Beauty? Sexuality?
I'm the initial to admit that I do not have all the answers. Who could? But as a mother who also happens to be a journalist (or perhaps vice versa) , I wanted to lay out the context— the marketing, science, history, culture— in which we make our choices, to provide information and insight that might nicely aid parents, educators, and all of us who care about girls guide them toward their true happily-ever-afters.
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