A wishy-washy attempt at a serious pseudo-psychology parenting book. The author states her views but is unable to follow-through with many of her beliefs about raising her daughter with limited media and commercial influence. Fortunately, she does include the results of some "real" research so you will at least hear what the experts are discovering. Raises interesting issues about permissive parenting, especially our dependence on "convenience" guiding what we choose to entertain and feed our children. This is a fun read, but far from the true scientific summary I expected.
Cinderella Ate My Daughter is an extremely digestible book on the rise of "pretty pink princess culture" among little girls. Having a daughter of her own, Daisy, alerted Peggy Orenstein to potentially problematic cultural trends affecting young girls, which she investigates further by visiting various places (American Girl Place, child beauty pagents, toy conventions, etc), interviewing various experts, and reflecting on her parenting experiences. Styled as a conversational exploration, Orenstein suggests that girlie-girl culture is a harmful manifestation of how the pursuit of physical perfection—with its requisite consumption—being recast as the source of female empowerment sets the stage for premature sexualization and limited choices as girls are conditioned to perform rather than feel. Orenstein is a funny writer whose breezy commentary would be appreciated by the intended audience. However, I wish there was more substance to interesting points she brings up about the role of fairy tales, (violent) play, and boy-girl interactions. This book is decidedly about mothers and daughters, with only one mention of her husband's parenting, which is unfortunate. Nonetheless, I enjoyed Orenstein's honesty about her many hopes and aspirations for her daughter and not having all the answers, her nuanced approach, and her astute observations.