Thursday, October 29, 2015

Cinderella Ate My Daughter

Cinderella Ate My Daughter by Peggy Orenstein

Growing up I never played with dolls. Barbies and American Girl dolls was not my thing. I always liked to build, play video games and never liked the color pink. My parents were okay with that because boy toys were always essentially cheaper. I still wore dresses and liked the color pink. I wore pink almost every day for years. Everyone always bought me Barbies. I had the Barbie camper and a few dolls. I always, always, always tried to get myself to like playing with dolls, but there was nothing there to mentally stimulate. My imagination was there, but if I wasn't getting my hands dirty, it wasn't me. I remember getting my first American Girl doll for my 10th birthday. She was blonde and blue eyed. She came with a surfing board, as well as surfing gear. She came with a story, just as mentioned in the article. I just remember hating the way I looked because I did not resemble this doll. My little cousin recently was gifted an American Girl doll, pale skin, blonde hair and blue eyes. She loves it. She always tells me she wishes she looked like her. She's an Afro-Dominican child. I always tell her, "You're beautiful. You don't need pin straight hair, or light skin." I see her mind being warped because of this mental image of "perfection."

When asking Dana, a thirty eight year old stay at home mom, how she felt about the rest of the Little Mermaid, she exclaimed that she doesn't let her daughter read the actual story because they are horrible. Her daughter just identified with Ariel because she loves to swim. My favorite saying of Dana's was, "Every single one is the same: it's about romance, love, and being rescued by the prince. I will protect my daughter from that." This is a very strong point that Dana made. I wouldn't want my child growing up thinking that she needs to be rescued by someone in order to find love, but this is unintentionally learned throughout society. By telling girls at a young age, they SHOULDN'T be doing something deemed as masculine, almost lessens their being.

Barbie Talk


  1. I finished reading the first section of the chapter from "Cinderella Ate My Daughter" and I was baffled. I had to take a break it was so harsh, ugly, and disgusting but valid. We need to reanalyze what we teach children through what parents allow them to play with. Our childhood sets us up for how we grow in adulthood.

  2. Thanks Verrie for your blog. Check out my blog for this week, I found out about this female engineer, from RI actually, who started a toy company for girls focused on construction toys, interesting and inspiring:

    If I ever have a daughter, she will most definitely have a mix of toys to play with. If had have a son it will be the same, no reason a boy shouldn't have a doll to play with too, it can teach some important things for boys as well.

  3. The video you posted about Barbie was really interesting. Especially the part where they were talking about the amount of make up used to make her look the way she does and then they put her next to a Barbie with no make up on. It is just so sad thinking that this is the image of beauty that girls grow up seeing and aspire to be like when they get older.