by Rachel Lee Carter
Cinderella Ate My Daughter is a series of (mostly “me and my Berkley playgroup”) research that Orenstein uses to make a case that pink and pretty, and pretending to be Cinderella somehow primes young girls for early sexualization.
Much of the book focuses on the author’s insecurity with the Disney princess culture, and is miffed that pink has become such a merchandising quality of all things girl-related instead of say, beige. And why, oh why must every girl want to dress up like a frilly girl and play princess?
From a Christian perspective, I had a hard time with some of the opinions Mrs. Orenstein put forth in her book. My theological take is that because God is the King of Kings, every young girl has some authority to revere herself as His princess. And how about our own Biblical stories of Queen Esther, Ruth, or the Shulamite fiancée of King Solomon? It’s a girls’ innate desire to be royal.
Also, Orenstein offers very strong opinions on the gay agenda. “I may want my girl to do and be whatever she dreams of as an adult, but I also hope she will find her Prince (or Princess) Charming and make me a grandma” (101).
She often contradicts herself noting that boys shouldn’t try to act brave and heroic, and girls shouldn’t gather in groups of other girls and play house—then states, “Perhaps the segregation of girl and boy cultures in inevitable. Biologically driven” (52). Well duh.
As a speaker, I offer a talk to young girls and guys about purity, specifically waiting until marriage before having sex. I was appalled at this line: “I object—strenuously—to the sexualization of girls but not necessarily to girls having sex. I expect and want my daughter to have a healthy, joyous erotic life before marriage. Long, long, long before marriage” (129).
When she discovered a friends’ son had received a sext-message (a picture delivered to his phone of his fellow 9th grade female classmate nude), she commented, “Part of me, I had to admit was taken by the girl’s bravado: that at age fourteen, she felt confident enough in her body to send a nudie shot to a boy she barely knew. Was it possible that this was a form of [liberating] progress?” (170-171).
I found the only thing I agreed with her about is the premature exposure to 6-year-olds that yield to early sexualization: skin-baring trends, cosmetic sales for pre-schoolers, press-on nails and R-rated fashion dolls.
Other than that, Cinderella Ate My Daughter is a strongly feminist book full of foul language and liberal opinions that contradict Christianity and Scripture.
. . . .
Rachel Lee Carter is an international professional model of more than 20 years and has worked for clients such as Cover Girl, Tommy Hilfiger, Reebok, Clairol, Wrangler, Fitness Magazine, Perry Ellis, SAKS Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales, and many others. Rachel is the President of Modeling Christ, a faith-based organization addressing the issues and needs of both participants in the modeling industry, and the world it influences. She is the author of Fashioned by Faith.