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Princess or pass? Peggy Orenstein comes to L.A.


Peggy Orenstein is coming to L.A. with her new book, "Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches From the Front Lines of Girlie-Girl Culture." The book examines contemporary culture's pervasive "princessmania" -- what her website calls a "seemingly-retro trend toward the ultra-feminine" -- and a powerful marketing machine that promotes it.

Hey, are those pink mouse ears in the background of the photo above? Indeed they are. Orenstein told the L.A. Times that at the time she was writing her book, there were more than 26,000 individual Disney princess products being marketed to little girls.

And real-life Disney girls like Miley and Selena and Lindsay are also troublesome, Orenstein says: "They actively put themselves out there as role models and then three months later, whammo, they're dancing on the stripper pole or smoking a bong online."

Will sparks fly between this princess protester and Lori Gottlieb when they appear on stage together next week? Gottlieb is the author of 2010's controversial "Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough." In the book, she argues against waiting for a Prince Charming, which seems to fit into the anti-princess rubric. But is urging women to grab for Prince Un-Charming any better?

The two women will discuss Orenstein's book -- and maybe stripper poles and adult relationships -- at Writers Bloc on Feb. 8 at the MGM Building in Century City. Tickets are $20.

ALSO: Looking for Mr. Good Enough

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Peggy Orenstein at home in Berkeley. Credit: Allen J. Schaben /  Los Angeles Times

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I used to believe handing a girl a Barbie doll, princess costume or anything ├╝ber-girly was like lobbing a grenade into her ego. I thought toys from the pink aisle siphoned the integrity out of girls, creating boy hungry wimps obsessed with shoes, fad diets and Gwyneth Paltrow movies.

I'm excited to read Orenstein's book as I've always agreed with what seems to be her main premise. Lately though I've thought a lot about the lives of modern girls and have doubted whether I should still keep blaming the culture.

Check out my blog "Do Barbie and Cinderella Destroy Girls" and tell me what you think: http://bit.ly/hDYhyh


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