I just started reading Cinderella Ate My Daughter by Peggy Orenstein, and it is really resonating with me. I'm starting this thread as a place that to discuss the ideas in this book (whether or not you have read the book!). I have so many thoughts whirling around my head, and I'm only on Chapter 1!
For those who haven't read it, Cinderella Ate My Daughter is the journey of one mother to examine the rise of the girlie-girl culture.
Reading the first chapter, I was first struck by how similar my experience has been to the author. Before DD, I was known to say to family, "My DD will never......play dress-up princesses, like the color pink, choose Barbie's over trains". Then I became a mom, and realized kids have a mind of their own.
Fast-forward 5 years, and I notice the creep of girlie-girl in our house. And now I can't decide how to handle it, or what to make of it. Disney Princesses stayed out of our home for a long time, and only arrived after she turned 4. She is not obsessed with them, so I tolerate the Princess dress-up clothes and Barbie-like Princess dolls, since they are mixed in with pirate costumes, doctor, ballerina, vet, etc. As a toddler, she loved trains, now it is babies and dolls.
And Legos. But don't get me started on how the 'girl's' Lego set looks like a box of pink vomit. And Lego Friends...still not sure how I feel about those, which are DD's favorite. I get annoyed with Lego that the Friends line is so...so...one-dimensional, for lack of a better word.
I try my hardest to allow my daughter to be anything she wants to be. If that means dressing up as Cinderella, so be it. I don't want to demonize her choice in the name of choice. But at the same time I want to limit the influence of brand-driven consumerism.
I'm sometimes amazed at how I, a pink-averse, feminist non-girlie girl, ended up giving birth to a child who loves all things pink.I do love how girly she is (it's a novelty for me), but I wonder how much of it is peer-influenced? Or grandparent-influenced: they heap the pink stuff on her. Because more than anything, I want her interests and desires to shine through, not be dictated to her.