Sunday, February 6, 2011

Book Review -- Cinderella Ate My Daughter

The title to this book caught my attention while I was walking through a Books-A-Million. I came back home and looked it up on my Nook and found out I could by the e-book for less than half the price so I got it. It’s a very interesting read written like a blog post with its funny anecdotes thrown in randomly. I love blogs so I didn’t mind it even though others may. This book is about the princess phenomenon that seems to have taken over all little girls and how this affects them in life. This, ‘give-me-now attitude’ and ‘need for attention’ and ‘desire to be beautiful’ and that ‘if you’re not the center of attention and always beautiful then you won’t get your man’ view that seems to be taking over the pre-tween, tween and teen girls. Very interesting!
One quote says, “Princesses avoid female bonding. Their goals are to be saved by a prince, get married, and be taken care of for the rest of their lives. Their value derives largely from their appearance. They are rabid materialists… And yet… parents cannot resist them.”
One point that it brought up was really interesting. It discussed how boys are often complimented on their intelligence. For example, “You are so smart!” But girls are often complimented on their beauty, “You are so pretty.” “You are beautiful.” What are we implying to our children? This really hit home b/c as I observed my own actions I realized that this was true with my own actions. I have fixed this however. J
“… Something, somewhere has shifted [in adolescence]. The innocence that pink signaled during the Princess years, which seemed so benign, even protective, has receded, leaving behind narcissism and materialism, as the hallmarks of feminine identity… It also discourages the possibility of cross-sex friendship. Could you share your Pink Glam Magic 8 Ball with a pal who happened to be a boy? My sources say no.”
“Gender [roles] really is all a bunch of socially constructed hooey.”
In it was a section that showed the difference in girls priorities in the last 100 years. Below are two New Year’s resolutions from two teenage girls. The first was in the turn of the nineteenth century:
“‘Resolved: to think before speaking. To work seriously. To be self-restrained in conversations and actions. Not to let my thoughts wander. To be dignified. Interest myself more in others.’
And the contemporary girl:
‘I will try to make myself better in any way I possibly can… I will lose weight, get new lenses, already got new haircut, good makeup, new clothes and accessories.’”
Basically, what I learned from this book is… well, a lot. If I’m uncomfortable with something then I’m not going to allow it in my home. This book covered the affects of internet use in girls today, Miley Cyrus and other big name girls that end up being our daughters’ idols and the real examples they set for our girls. Something I found interesting was that a lot of these girls had no imagination. That is something that I want to make sure that my kids have, is an imagination. I found some fun toys called Papo Figurines. There are princesses in them but there are TONS of others. They aren’t too expensive and they require children to use their imaginations. This was recommended in the book. I really like the idea of getting them for my kids.
Anyways, if you have a daughter then I TOTALLY recommend reading this book. It was tons of fun and gave me a good view of how the media plays on my daughter growing up too fast and becoming self-centered. Empathy has decreased in today’s world. I want my children to have empathy, an imagination, and want to better themselves from the inside out. Hopefully I will be able to help guide them in the right ways so they can be their best! J
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