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Hot on the heels of the Tiger Mom controversy comes Peggy Orenstein’s new book, Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Frontlines of New Girlie-Girl Culture. After reading an excerpt online and an article in the New York Times, I started to feel defensive. Is Ms. Orenstein igniting an assault on pretty in pink, little girl bedrooms? Is princess decor too sugar and spice and everything nice?

The book & My dream bedroom if I was a little girl again

Orenstein explains that in raising her daughter, the marketing of all things pink and princesses put her “at war with a culture that emphasized physical appearance to her daughter over pride, strength, resilience and intelligence.”

While I don’t have a daughter, I was a little girl once upon a time. My childhood bedroom was painted a lovely shade of dust rose with a dust rose comforter and matching floral sheets on a four poster bed with frilly canopy. I took ballet classes and loved my recital costumes. Every Halloween I wanted to be a princess. Fairy princess. Princess Leia. Princess Diana. (I was no TLC tiara terror, although I love that show.) Then one day my old school girlie-girl self experienced a head-on collision with college women’s studies classes. I’ve come to terms with that. And that was almost 20 years ago.

So in today’s post-feminism world, can’t our little girls enjoy powerfully pink bedrooms, tea parties and princes costumes? Or is dust rose still damaging?


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4 Responses

  1. HGTV_Kelley says:

    Linda, the best way to contact Candice is through her website: http://www.candiceolson.com/ Good luck!

  2. rosefire says:

    My mean mommy wouldn't let me have a pink bedroom because she wanted an alll blue house, but despite not having one I still grew up to be a girlie-girl! Bring on the Pink, and may pink and lavender reign forever!
    Your other best fan, Rosefire from GA

  3. Gin says:

    I was not a girlie girl. I shunned all things pink and princessy. I could argue how Disney princess movies and Barbies are damaging our young women. I was shocked and a little worried when I had a daughter in 2004. She played with her brothers' hand me down toys and wore their hand me down clothes for five years (not exclusively, of course, but predominantly). Fast forward to today: we own Barbie movies and Barbie dolls and Disney princess dolls. We have pink everything. And I love it. I still think a prince is not the answer and marriage shouldn't be a girl's highest aspiration, but that's not what my daughter is learning from it. Yes, she loves pink and tiaras and sparkly jewelry, but princessdom is only one facet of her world. She also loves ice skating and hockey. She loves Legos and drawing and school and her friends.
    Cinderella culture is only damaging if it's allowed to be. In my home, it's something fun, and only a piece of our lives.

  4. LLewis says:

    I have no problem with a child playing princess occasionally. But, the current trend of immersion in the princess role harks back to the days when girls were daily subjected to propaganda that groomed her for just one role in life. I'm old enough to remember when NASA still sneered at the idea of women going into space. As a geology major in college, I found it nearly impossible to find women's clothing suitable for field trips. "Outdoor" clothing sold by the big retailers meant pastel, frilly and, above all, flimsy versions of the sensible, durable outdoor wear designed for men and boys. If the educational system did not succeed in discouraging women from pursuing science careers, being stuck in the wilderness with flimsy cold-weather gear probably would. But, not always. I shopped in the boys department, and got my geology degree.

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