Cinderella – Again; More Interesting Facts

As I am getting further into the book, Cinderella Ate My Daughter, by Peggy Orenstein, I am learning more and more how I have been manipulated by the big-and-small name companies who have market segments strictly leaning on girls. Don’t get me wrong. I went more than willingly along for the ride. (Another time I will tell you about my youngest daughter’s foray into Irish Dancing). Reading about the toddler beauty pageants in this book had me seeing what I myself was capable and guilty of.

Pink Princess girl

So, one thing that really reached out and slapped me in the face, was on page 82. “ ’Tween’ girls now spend more than $40 million dollars a month on beauty products.  No wonder Nair, the depilatory maker, in 2007 released ‘Nair Pretty’, a fruit-scented line designed to make 10-year-olds conscious of their ‘unwanted’ body hair” (2012, pg. 82). The first thing I thought was that these tween girls must all have amazing jobs to be able to spend that much money, a month!!, on make-up and lip gloss. If only, right? But apparently a lot of moms are doing pretty well for themselves to be able to invest this kind of money in their young girls beauty regimens. My kids are going to deal with whatever supposed unwanted hair they have when they are 10 years old. They are just stuck with it. Sorry. You don’t need smooth legs right now.

I understand that times have changed. Having 4 girls ranging from 21 years old down to 9, I have bought Barbies, Bratz, Moxie Girls, My Little Pony, Monster High Dolls, and every other girlie toy I can’t bring to mind at the moment. But even though times have changed, my oldest still set the precedence that the others will, and do, follow. No one is allowed a cell phone before they are 13 years old. No one will wear make-up other than chapstick before they reach 12. No one will wear clothes that show their midriff, butt-crack, or breasts falling out of a shirt. I haven’t budged on this, and I won’t. Yes, I hear all the time about the 8 and 9 year old friends who have their own cell phones, and I refuse to give one to my 12 and 9 year old. I got by without one; I’m sure they will survive it as well.

Really? Just Really :-)
Really? Just Really 🙂

So what’s to come? More eye-opening facts of how I have been sucked in to the system. Again; willingly. I like my girls to be girlie, if they are indeed “girlie-girls”. 2 of them are, 2 of them aren’t. If one wants Barbie Dolls to play with, I am OK with that. But if they decide they want a baseball glove and bat instead, I am OK with that as well.

I am curious to see as I continue to read what possible damage I may have done to my girls’ self-esteem!

Cinderella Ate My Daughter by Peggy Orenstein-Beginning Thoughts


A wonderful Christmas gift from my oldest of four girls (Thanks so much Jess!), this book seems to be spot on to what I have seen and experienced from raising girls for the last 21+ years. With the youngest only 9 years old, I have a ways to go, but a lot of experience and wisdom under my belt (poor girl doesn’t stand a chance!)

This book is about how girls are marketed to, made to believe that pink is the color to end all colors, and princesses are all-powerful. How as years go by, girls are marketed to at a younger and younger age. Case in point: Tweens. What exactly are tweens? When did this definition become popular and part of our everyday language? Not all that long ago. Oddly enough, I couldn’t search deep enough to find any data on this, but being a woman of 41 years old, I was never called a tween, and there was no such thing as a tween. This definition was coined to create another market segment to market to and profit from.

So as a parent who has spent more than half of my life raising girls, and a long way to go, I am very interested in completing this book and seeing exactly just how much I contribute to this situation with my own girls, and how often I have allowed myself to be marketed to in such a way that I am “drinking the kool-aid”, so to speak.

A quote from one woman who was interviewed:

“I think feminism erred in the 1960’s by negating femininity” announced Mara, a thirty-six-year-old education consultant who was currently home with her kids. Her voice sounded tight, almost defiant. “That was a mistake. I want my daughter to have a strong identity as a girl, as a woman, as a female. And being pretty in our culture is very important. I don’t want her to ever doubt that she’s pretty. So if she wants to wear a princess dress and explore that side of herself, I don’t want to stand in her way” (Orenstein, P. 2012, pg. 19).

Now I’m not saying I think Mara is wrong with her feelings on this, but I just have to say that I personally do not want to raise my girls with the understanding that it is important for them to be seen as pretty; that being pretty equals success; that being pretty makes you better than others; that if you aren’t pretty, you don’t matter and you’re not important. Does that mean I don’t want them wearing nice clothes, make-up, and doing their hair? Not at all. I want them to take care of themselves and feel good about themselves. But I don’t want them to ever think that they cannot have a meaningful conversation with a man if they aren’t wearing mascara and high heels.

Enough said for now; I am just getting into this book and I am pretty sure there will be much more to come.