Monday, January 24, 2011

The Pink Debate

I'll admit it, I like pink. It happens to be a flattering color for me to wear. And I don't really have a problem dressing my daughter in pink. Especially since we get so many nifty hand-me-downs. Who I am to refuse free clothes?

Yet with my daughter about to turn 3, I have mixed feelings about the seemingly inevitable princess dress-up phase.

I'm looking forward to working through some of these conflicting feelings by reading Cinderella Ate My Daughter, which was reviewed in this Sunday's Times.

It seems there are many things to question. One thing that struck me is that pre-2000 there were no mass-produced Disney princess outfits for dress-up. That is, until a brilliant marketer capitalized on the natural gender identification age, and turned it into a multi-billion dollar industry.

For those mothers (or aunts or grandmothers or family friends!) who might be looking for an alternative to the panoply of princess dress-up books out there, my next book Every-Day Dress-Up might be just the solution.

I offer girls a chance to learn about real women who have done great things with their lives. The heroine dons outfits of such icons as: Frida Kahlo, Marie Curry, Eleanor Roosevelt and Julia Child, every day of the week.

There's probably no way to avoid the 'princessification' of girls entirely. But, why not give our impressionable daughters some alternatives?

Every-Day Dress-Up (Knopf) comes out this Fall. More to come!