Monday, January 31, 2011

"Girlie-girl" culture  


Spotted an article on Slate today that highlights a new book: Cinderella Ate My Daughter by feminist author Peggy Orenstein.

Her website describes the book:

The acclaimed author of the groundbreaking bestseller Schoolgirls reveals the dark side of pink and pretty in this wake-up call to parents: the rise of the girlie girl is not that innocent.

As a new mother, Peggy Orenstein was blindsided by the persistent ultra-feminine messages being sent to a new generation of little girls—from "princess-mania" to endless permutations of pink. How many times can you say no when your daughter begs for a pint-sized wedding gown, she wondered. How dangerous is pink and pretty anyway? Being a princess is just make-believe, isn't it? Does playing Cinderella shield little girls from early sexualization—or prime them for it?

I LOVE anything that questions the mass distribution of harmful gender role-reinforcing products to young girls that are far too easily accepted by society as "normal." Will be adding this to my reading list.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Why do we do this to our daughters?  

Huffington Post put up this video recently. It's a clip from a horrific show on TLC called "Toddlers & Tiaras" (which is about exactly what the title implies) that depicts one of the pageant mothers forcing her crying five year-old daughter to get her eyebrows waxed. The girl was traumatized from a previous waxing session during which her skin was ripped off.

Pure child abuse, and a prime example of how gender roles and beauty expectations operate in a vicious cycle. I'm sure this pageant mother's parent(s) forced the same twisted values on her. Even though I don't plan to have kids in my lifetime, sometimes I wish I could raise a daughter, if only to teach her that her self-worth goes beyond having well-shaped eyebrows.