Monday, January 13, 2014

Cinderella ate my Daughter by Peggy Orenstein

Personally, I love all things Disney, although considering that my favourite 'princess' was Mulan, I don't think it made me girlier in some way. After all, when I was a child, I was known for loudly and frequently stating that girls were better than boys. But needless to say, Disney tends to stand for everything girly.

Which is why Peggy Orenstein, the author of this book, was worried that Disney was just part of a culture that teaches girls that their source of empowerment comes from their looks. And when give empowerment to something to arbitrary (seriously, looks?), well, you can image how it's may wreck havoc on little girls' (and not-so-little girls') self-esteem.

So this book, which explores this question, was really fascinating. Peggy Orenstein interviews many people, and she's clearly invested in getting an answer. She has a little girl she's trying to raise into a confident young woman after all.

I really enjoyed reading this book. It brought up a lot of subjects that I haven't even considered. I mean, I like pink, but I never wondered if it was due to marketing. And I've never really thought about the messages of the Disney stories. I loved to watch them but I never had a "I want to be a princess phase". After all, I cried when I was put in a barbie dress (it itched) and most of my play-acting with my sisters and cousins consisted of war games (I suppose I needed an excuse to read, and a bunker during the war was a good enough reason).

This is definitely a book that I'll be revisiting in the future. I hope I can find other books by this author soon - if they're like this one, they'll be an interesting, thoughtful read.

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