Peggy Orenstein and her book first came into my knowledge during the promotion of ‘Cinderella Ate My Daughter’ on the local talk back AM radio station early last year. I jumped onto my local library’s online catalogue at the time but was disappointed to find it was not yet part of their collection 😦 So I submitted a book request and a year later I received a lovely letter saying my book was ready to pick up from the library LOL! Turns out the timing was perfect, I’m pregnant with number two – a little girl.
Peggy’s book is mainly a commentary on trying to deal with the pink princess syndrome which seems to have taken over a lot of girls in full force. I read this book looking for answers on how to deal with this problem and was left with the same questions unanswered when I finished the book. It turns out Peggy and I are facing the same problem and we are both (or will be) making our way through the same minefield of ‘the 21st century girl’. She did talk about the path which lead to this phenomenon, so that was useful. Did you know pink was considered a masculine colour a century ago? Yes, apparently it was… a tint of red (a highly masculine colour back then) and blue was considered very feminine – the colour of the Virgin Mary. So somewhere along the line it all changed and now you will find many a girl drowned in the colour pink.
A must read book for every parent? Having shared the same views as Peggy for some years now this book didn’t blow my mind with new concepts and life changing ideas. It did however give me more of a history to the feelings I have internalised for so long and in many ways it has hardened my resolve. I certainly believe every parent should be aware of the directions our children and ourselves get dragged by the marketing magnates of Mattel, Disney and the like and try our best not to get too sucked in. I would love to say I myself am immune to such a terrible thing but I too have ‘sucker’ printed on my forehead (Lego how I love you but hate you so!!).
So, will there be any princesses in my household? DEFINITELY NOT! Heroines? YES, YES, YES, PLEASE!