Friday, September 27, 2013

2013 Books in Review #14: Cinderella Ate My Daughter

I listened to the audiobook version of this book through the Overdrive Media Console app on my phone, mostly in the car as I was waiting for my kids to be done with their various summertime recreation programs.
Cinderella Ate My Daughter was written by an author who has written other books about girls and issues in raising them. This particular book was written as the mother of a daughter herself, and her perspective of how all things culturally stereotypically "girl" are marketed and sold to girls and by extension of course, their parents. She explores the effects that all things "pink" and "girl" have on little girls who are learning who they are by the messages that are sent to them.
Most of her connections were ones I had made myself before reading the book, however some of her interpretations were new and gave me fodder to chew on and think about. One of my favourite chapters was the chapter she did covering the American Girl phenomenon which is less about pink and pizzazz and supposed to be more about "real" girls in real situations. I have never seen an American Girl doll except in pictures, and I don't have any children asking for them so it isn't likely to be a fixture in my life any time soon. The idea that there are whole stores designed around these dolls, where you can even take your doll for food or for a spa experience is just amazing to me. The expense of them, whether they are worth it or not, is enough to put them out of the range of many real girls who may want them.
Overall I found myself nodding through much of the book and I appreciated her take as the mother of a girl who has been long interested in issues surrounding raising a successful little girl. I don't have any girls, but I am a woman with sisters and nieces and I care a great deal about how we separate what is girl and what is boy by artificial lines and then call it nature. I'd highly recommend this book to any parent, but especially parents of girls.
Cinderella Ate My Daughter was my 21st book read for the year, my 16th library book read, my 8th book written by a woman, and fufilled the letter C in my A-Z challenge.

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