Antropia Word Archives

Mandela's Epiphany

The most powerful moments in life can come from experiencing the powerful acts of others: the lessons they share with so many.  Nelson Mandela--really no words can do justice for this man's life. A life force himself, but Kadir Nelson's cover of this week's New Yorker evokes the spirit of Madiba in as much as an illustration can.  

Nelson Mandela knew well that you have to seize freedom for it is not a given for some of us.  He knew better that if you don't make decisions they will be made for you.  But his example of dignified resistance needs to live on if there is to be any hope for the future...

We can't afford for his legacy to simply be eulogized, commodified and forgotten in the pages of history books as merely rhetoric.   This "template" of the ultimate peacemaker and freedom fighter is ours to embrace, but also to perpetuate for future generations to have real access to equality.   May we access his greatest epiphany in our dreams for that future.

Bread-winning Mothers, Stay-Home Fathers?

The notion of fathers staying at home with the kids while mom is the bread winner is a real gender-bender for this generation of parents.  While this arrangement can have some appeal, when it really works between loving parents cooperating  for the sake of raising healthy well adjusted kids, the backlash is found in the court rooms of those less successful experiments...


posted Oct 25, 2013, 6:50 PM by An Tropia   [ updated Oct 25, 2013, 8:18 PM ]
How a Radical New 
Teaching Method Could Unleash a Generation of Geniuses by Joshua Davis                              

How a Radical New Teaching Method Could Unleash a Generation of Geniuses
Students in Matamoros, Mexico weren't getting much out of school -- until a radical new teaching method unlocked their potential. Read more...
This is a phenomenally moving article that I would say is upworthy.  (And if you haven't been to yet--it's time).  When you consider how much potential children have to effectively teach themselves simply by being given the tools, adult's trust and space to really explore--isn't it sad most U.S. public schools don't offer this option?  But this piece in Wired magazine recognizes teachers who see how outdated and old school-well schools are dwarfing our kids' growth...


The verdict is out on the countries that offer the best breaks for women in the work place as well as at home. And guess what--the US is not one of them.  Well no surprise considering the economy, unemployment rates and some die-hard cultural attitudes towards women who balance professional and home life.  The BBC takes note of the release of new data on which countries provide equal benefits to both women and men that improve qualtiy of life overall...


posted Oct 13, 2013, 7:25 PM by Deanna L.   [ updated Oct 13, 2013, 7:55 PM ]
The British graffitti artist Banksy is leaving some surprises around NYC in true scavenger hunt fashion.  In a time when appropriating public space in the name of art is caving in to gentrification-cum-marketing in New York especially, Banksy delivers the true essence and mystery of underground art. See for yourself...


Untitled Post

posted Oct 11, 2013, 1:01 PM by Deanna L.

HAPPY GIRLS' DAY--during this international holiday we should all remember how extraordinary they are!!!  My sweet girl we are oh soooo lucky to have you!!!!!



posted Oct 8, 2013, 7:18 PM by Deanna L.   [ updated Oct 11, 2013, 1:02 PM ]
With all the dread of ridiculous government shutdowns it's time to celebrate something positive again!  Thankfully El Dia de Los Muertos is coming around again, but this time we remember San Francisco's amazing event--the best parade and sugar skulls ever!!!

And if you're in NYC don't miss Mano a Mano's El Dia  that promises vibrant colorful festivities for families at St Mark's Church in the Bowery! October 31-November 3.

Some Things to Consider

posted May 16, 2012, 12:43 AM by Deanna L.   [ updated Oct 8, 2013, 8:31 PM ]

Cheryl Owen Wilson

El Día de los Muertos 
20th Annual Day of the Dead Exhibit

Fiesta Reception & Frida Khalo Look-Alike Contest:Friday, October 18, 6 - 9pm

Exhibit Dates:
October 8 - November 8, 2013

The Maude Kerns Art Center presents their annual “Día de los Muertos/Day of the Dead Exhibit,” featuring artwork reflecting themes of the Mexican Day of the Dead celebration as well as commemorative altars created by individuals and community groups. The exhibit opens on Friday, October 8, with a Fiesta from 6 – 9 pm on the October 18. (PERFECT FOR CHILDREN!!)

When to Hide Your Race & Religion

Front Cover
'Would I encourage (my son) to hide his heritage in an effort to make life easier on him, or myself? Absolutely not.'--Tamara Reese

This article by Alina Adams is under huge scrutiny for the bold encouragement to deny race and heritage.  The author's intention apparently is to protect her children from potentially volatile racist attacks at the extreme or daily discrimination when say "hailing a cab in NYC" at the relatively benign end of the scale.  

But at what cost to their identity and how often is the outcome more dangerous when these children attempt to "pass" and their cover is blown.  There are many stories historically where this has been the case.  You may then have a child you grows to deny one parent in denying their race and how does self-esteem and self-identity then suffer for that?

In her interview on Tell Me More NPR.  Alina Adams lays out her reasoning for this perspective and while most parents want to shield their kids from suffering, I couldn't help but envision those same children who become self-loathing adults.  She reveled in the novelty of her children's appearances and they're ability to "pass."  If they don't have the stigma of looking black while being black exploiting that could have dire ramifications in the future. Does this go too far in protecting your child so  that she/he fits in?  If you choose to have a biracial child there are just some realities you have to accept.  A book that handled this topic tragically, yet beautifully is Nella Larson'sQuicksand and Passing dealing with this very subject of Harlem's biracial elite.

'America's Silent Crisis: The Plight of the Single (Working!) Mother'

Front Cover
It's disheartening to read of the staggering numbers of single mother's that are struggling to support families on meager wages and no benefits! With nearly 30% living below the poverty level, what will this mean for our children's aspirations and quality of life in the future?  The author, Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, spoke eloquently on NPR's Tell Me More today about the often overlooked economic tragedies that more mothers and children are faced with today as unemployment rises...

That said, the strife single mothers face is from the first moments of conflict in relationship to the father once it leads to separation. While "Are You a Crazy Baby Mama: A Handbook for Single Moms,"  By Max-Laine, Melanie Bent, may carry with it some of the usual stereotypes as a title, the book actually carries some significant ground in how mothers persevere in spite of the often crazy-making stress of being single parents.

The Loss of Life for a 6-year-old Moviegoer

A mother of a three-year-old questions what a 6-year-old was doing at a late night showing of Batman, a dark portrayal of the comic book hero.  Regardless, that child didn't deserve to be one of the 12 deceased victims in the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shootings.  Now, among many questions is how to avoid another tragedy of this devastating magnitude.

What does the Aurora theater shooting have in common with the Columbine shooting or the Oklahoma City bombing? Is this a gun control issue that can be documented a la Michael Moore? How do we label the extremism that's frighteningly alive and kicking in this country?  And how do we prevent future tragedies inflicted by a few narcissistic psychopaths without random bag checks and profiling that infringe on the civil liberties of many. As of now movie theaters ponder new security measures...

Woman Behind Controversial Military Breastfeeding Photo...

Should military mothers be allowed to breastfeed in uniform? Sparks are flying, with jobs lossed over this very controversial photo of two breastfeeding moms in their Air National Guard uniforms.

Why Women Still Can't "Have it All"

The Atlantic - July/August 2012

The packaging of this Atlantic article is getting some bite back from women on all levels.  What does the world of feminism have to say about the article content and provocative cover. In 2012 sad this is an ongoing dialogue. Rebecca Traister of Salon parses the subject with precision......

'my proposal is this: We should immediately strike the phrase “have
it all” from the feminist lexicon and never, ever use it again.

Here is what is wrong, what has always been wrong, with equating
feminist success with “having it all”: It’s a misrepresentation of a
revolutionary social movement. The notion that female achievement
should be measured by women’s ability to “have it all” recasts a
righteous struggle for greater political, economic, social, sexual and
political parity as a piggy and acquisitive project.

...It is a trap, a setup for inevitable feminist short-fall.
Irresponsibly conflating liberation with satisfaction, the “have it
all” formulation sets an impossible bar for female success and then
ensures that when women fail to clear it, it’s feminism – as opposed
to persistent gender inequity – that’s to blame.'

First Lady: Nation's Health 'Starts With Our Kids'

NPR's interview with Michelle Obama yesterday was a refreshing discussion on how organic gardening can reshape our children's diet in a country where one third of the youth population are overweight to the point of being characterized as epidemic...

The Road to Mother Coffee

In Ethiopia, coffee trails open up Kafa Biosphere Reserve to tourists
Article | May 24, 2012 - 12:00am | By Chuck Adams

For those of us who appreciate the finest cup-o-joe from the original source this article is a coffee-lovers dream.


Did Time magazine go too far?? Was this cover too sensationalist?  It's building tons of controversy on attachment parenting and drawing perhaps undo negative attention to the most natural maternal connection of breastfeeding children...Any thoughts out there?? Read it and be the judge...,16641,20120521,00.html


Just take a break in the internet swirl and listen to the hypnotic jazz of Gretchen Parlato

NPR's view of the Latin Billboard Awards: 
Latin & RB Music Collaborations

Latin music offers the diverse sounds of the Caribbean, Central and South America with African and Spanish roots, but how is the sound evolving to include contemporary sounds?

Sam Flores: The Creative Genius of an
Upper Playground
His style is a gorgeous morphed dreamscape that conjures romantic images of Japanese scrolls and fierce el train graffiti.  Sam  Flores is a most prolific artist of transcendental quality who easily wins loyalty with every turned out canvas and mural.

Under the Baobab

The upside wonder of baobab trees is not unfamiliar, but the color-drenched textile art enraptures both the tree and the viewer staring above at mammoth proportions and entangled branches. What a vivid canvas to behold...


'Creative' Process at the Sculptors Guild, NYC
In case you have an appetite for sculptural exploration in the divine world of Art.  Check out this upcoming exhibition featuring 15 prominent artists at the Sculptors Guild, NYC

July 8, 2012
Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

A Book Review

This autobiography is a compelling look into some ideas behind Chinese methods of raising children.  How do they differ from Western methods, if at all? Whether or not this cultural style of parenting is more successful seems to be the question the author poses.

In 2011 Amy Chua released her rendition of ‘Chinese parenting’ in Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.  Told through her determined efforts to raise her two half Jewish daughters in the Chinese tradition, Chua is a renegade.  She has a style of parenting that may be viewed as brutal by some and a fine example of cultured discipline by others.  The Yale law professor cum non-fiction author gives a running list of approaches that supposedly distinguish Chinese parenting for better or worse.

Amy Chua’s formula for Chinese parenting includes all the things her daughters were not allowed to do including:

·         * Attend sleepovers

·         * Participate in school plays

·         * Choose their own extracurricular activities

·         * Watch TV or play computer games

·         * Get less than an A in school

By some standards Amy Chua can be considered more than a bit fanatical when it comes to her daughters’ musical training—even to her own Chinese parents! But this mother of two will not accept anything less than musical genius from her flourishing prodigy children.  Will they grow to resent her for it she questions?

The child’s responsibility to the parents, who sacrifice everything for their offspring, is also an overarching theme in this book.  Is there too much pressure on the child with this approach?  Will a child’s self-esteem suffer if pushed too hard toward achievement?  Should childhood be “fun” or focused on future success for their parents’ glory?  Should children feel obligated to fulfill their parents’ expectations and hopes for them?

Amy Chua is both humorous and ridiculous, but undeniably steadfast in her goals as a mother.  She is clearly not one to settle for mediocrity in her children, but at what cost.  Chua herself even questions whether her daughters will resent her later for how hard she drills them.  Her book challenges the reader to consider what limits we set as parents. 

What aspirations do we have for our children and how committed are we to their success?  This book also begs the question of how culturally relative this parenting approach really is.  Even if you’re a skeptic, it’s worth a read…Keep in mind it is one perspective.

June 30, 2012

Does Spoiling Children Harm their Growth?

A recent article on the internet compelled me to look further into how spoiling children affects their development.  The article titled ‘Why parents "spoil" their kids,'  referenced Elizabeth Kolbert’s article in the July issue of the New Yorker.  In short she believes American kids are ‘spoiled rotten.’ I recalled a conversation with my neighbor explaining how she satiated her 5-year-old daughter’s desire for material things.  The mom felt it had become more about the manipulation to acquire things for her child than it was about the actual toy. 

Is spoiling a global phenomenon?

Some experts beg to differ. When comparing American parenting styles there is some agreement in the field of psychology that U.S. children are far more over-indulged by their parents than anywhere else in the world—even when compared with other western nations.  However, the definition of spoiling is culturally relative and given American culture is not monolithic we know there are many approaches to parenting in this country.  Economic status further impacts the spoiling dynamic where material gains are concerned.

What do experts say about spoiling children?

Robert J. Mackenzie is creator of the “Setting Limits” program.  According to this educational psychologist and family therapist quoted in the above article, spoiling children "decreases their sensitivity and respect for the rights, feelings and boundaries of others. That creates a 'me first' generation that believes 'rules are for other people.'"

“If you give kids so much early on, they get to a point where they can’t be satisfied with anything,” says Dan Kindlon PhD, clinical and research psychologist at Harvard University and author of the book titled, “Too Much of a Good Thing: Raising Children of Character in an Indulgent Age.

More reasons not to spoil your child…

·         Delayed gratification is believed to teach children patience

·         As they grow older they’re likely to be extremely self-absorbed

·         They tend to have more anxiety and less self-control

Advice for parents…

·         Reflect on whether you over-indulge your child and the outcome

·         Calmly Give your child clear instructions rather than empty threats

·         Be consistent with discipline and explain consequences for spoiled behavior

Some websites to check out for advice on reversing spoiled behavior in children:


June 27, 2012

“Let’s Move!” Outdoors during Summer

In conjunction with Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign, Amazon Pool held a free event on the first day of summer acknowledging the importance of keeping our children active and healthy.  This effort is intended to reduce childhood obesity that has reached epidemic figures in the U.S.  Now while that event may be so last week, there are a number of affordable to free local events and activities that keep families in shape while bonding and having fun in the summer outdoors.

Berry Picking

Berry season has arrived and what healthier way to get active than with a belly full of local seasonal berries. The best part is these farms, just a short drive away, allow you and the kids to pick your own berries!  Convenient, delicious and children are always charmed by these colorful tasty gems.

Green Hill Aire Blueberry Farm located at 28794 Hillaire St. in Eugene has ripe blueberries to pick fresh.  Call for details (541) 688-8276.

Lone Pine Farms has strawberries for picking now where the family can enjoy the local farm life and nature at its best while picking their own seasonal berries.  The farm also has a petting barn and playground, open daily 9 am-7 pm.

Bike Trails and Events

Kidical Mass” where families ride their bikes en masse around town, happens in Eugene (and Cottage Grove) on a bi-monthly basis during summer. Check their website for upcoming events.

Nature Hikes

Eugene parks will open a new kid-friendly hiking trail at Skinner’s Butte in mid-July. There you will find native oaks, wildflowers and sword ferns under a glorious canopy of trees that provide cool shade from the summer heat. And the mecca of playgrounds, RiverPlay Discovery Village, with water features is directly across from the trailhead.


Amazon Pool is celebrating the summer with their annual Family Pool Party August 18th.  Get your free tickets at the downtown Eugene Library August 11th.

And don’t forget Fern Ridge for lake swimming.  If you’re headed to Cottage Grove, Dorena and Cottage Grove Lakes are also great for picnics and cooling down on the hottest days! Feliz Verano!

June 24, 2012

Brain Rules for Baby: A Book Review

Published in 2010, John Medina covers some crucial considerations for raising children in this technological era in his latest book on parenting. This work examines some of the key elements for raising healthy smart children from birth through five years old. He thoughtfully explores how parents’ well being and balance directly impacts their children.

As Medina unveils his suggested “ingredients” for optimal parenting, he also dispels some of the myths around praising children for innate smarts versus consistent effort. His listed ingredients of intelligence give food for thought as we parents prepare our children for their world within and away from home. 

1.    Exploration.  Medina purports that children are mini “scientists” constantly exploring, testing, and experimenting to discover what the world (their laboratory) has to offer.  Healthy exploration expands their knowledge.

2.    Self-control. Executive function is a reliable predictor for academic success.  It is also essential for developing foresight and self-control, problem solving and achieving goals.  How do we stimulate this growth as parents?

3.    Creativity. Can we predict creative impulse in our child’s future? Creative types have a stronger functional impulsivity and an ability to handle ambiguity.  Because of this they score better on test that measure risk-taking in the creative realm.

4.    Verbal communication.  Medina stresses the importance of early communication with our children to encourage their social and intellectual development.

5.    Decoding nonverbal communication.  The reading of body language is elemental to gauging our world’s this is especially true for children.  Learning sign language is one way to enhance children’s cognitive abilities. 


Written with anecdotal humor, Medina’s pretext rests on the basic need for human survival.  It’ll make you laugh while offering some noteworthy suggestions for raising well-adjusted critical thinkers.  Stay tuned for follow-up articles that more closely explore other important topics in this must have book on early childhood development.

June 17, 2012

How Michelle Obama is Changing Views on Childrens Diets

Today I listened to a wonderful interview with Michelle Obama about the importance of a healthy diet for reducing obesity in children.  The interview on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation” was a refreshing discussion about how gardening with kids can teach them about the natural process of growing food and improve their eating habits at the same time.  For me, that was a major draw to New Dream where I watched as the kids picked strawberries to make fresh juice last week!

The First Lady’s Organic Garden

As a proponent of organic gardening, Michelle Obama planted the first White House vegetable gardens since Eleanor Roosevelt was First Lady.  She also set up beehives on the South Lawn.

Gardens are explorative outdoor classrooms for kids.  They are eager to experiment naturally and dig in the dirt. So imagine if you could change their outlook on the things they put in their mouths by teaching them to grow organic fruits and vegetables.

“Can you water your garden with soda” Mrs. Obama asks children. Incredulous they all answer, “no.” She points out that we can not expect to grow ourselves with sugary soft drinks either: the perfect teaching moment. When children make that connection, it is golden.

Early Childhood Obesity Statistics

Like the First Lady, I remember growing up without all the fast food (that was a luxury) and a life playing outdoors all day until the “streetlights came on.”  You ate the balanced meal that was on the table: there were no microwave quickie alternative meals then. Even with Kool-Aid, the one concession parents made, child obesity also wasn’t the issue then that it is now.

Today obesity has reached epidemic proportions among children in the U.S. where one third of their population are now overweight. Mrs. Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign has just this demographic in mind.  She was forced to reconsider her own daughters’ diet some years earlier when their pediatrician raised concerns over their weight…

I planted a garden this year with my daughter as I’ve done since before she was born.  It is a normal part of our routine to play there: deciding what to plant, sowing seeds, pulling weeds and meditating together there as I did with my grandparents. 

At 4 years-old she can identify berries like no child I know.  And the joy of watching her gather peas, strawberries and whatever else we get a hunkering to grow is extraordinary.  I know exactly what’s going into my child’s mouth—all grown with love.  ‘Tis the season, so go plant your food with your kids!

Check out Michelle Obama’s Interview on NPR

June 13, 2012

Social Decline for Children in the Digital Era

While our preschool age children may have a ways to go before texting is part of their lexicon, one anecdote struck me as words of caution for this technological phenomenon. 

In his book Brain Rules for Baby, John Medina recalls the tale of a mother and sociologist when she throws a slumber party for her daughter.  When the gaggle of girls got together for what the mother imagined would be a nocturnal pillow-fighting and girl chatter extravaganza-- a phone-texting frenzy ensued instead.

The amazement of this mother was clear: this technology and new social past time had dwarfed the social skills of these girls who in her time would’ve been whispering secrets throughout the night.

Multi-tasking Skills and Technology?

While there is still very little research proving the full impact of texting on children’s behavior one thing is certain: texting is in some ways replacing regular face-to-face social interaction at an astounding rate.

A friend was once recounted his daughter’s ability to rapidly text with accuracy while holding a conversation at the same time.  Perhaps future generations will be better skilled at multi-tasking, as some studies suggest.

If you consider that the average child sent and received a whopping 2,272 texts in 2008 alone, one might begin to question how much access youngsters should have to this technology.  In fact, 27% of all words accessed by these same children came from contact with computers by 2009.  

Stunted Social Skills…

Since in person social interaction is what helps to develop nonverbal communication skills (body language), this news is very significant and should not be overlooked.  The more limited the social interaction the slower the growth of crucial social skills.  Texting and computer interaction do not develop these skills in the truly effective manner of old school face-to-face socializing.

According to A. Barbara Wheeler, Superintendent of Kent County Public Schools, Maryland, in her article Texting Can Damage Communication Skills:

‘While technology has the potential to make life more fulfilling, there is that ever present danger that technology can have an adverse affect on our children.  Children today do not spend their leisure time playing dodge ball or skating. They spend hours playing video games, watching TV, surfing the Internet or using cell phones.’

June 4, 2012

Raising Cain:
Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys                            

A Book Review

“Newborn boys, on average, are actually more emotionally reactive than girls. For example, studies show that baby boys cry more than bay girls when they are frustrated or upset…Despite those expressive beginnings…as boys get older they express less emotion.”                                                                                                 

Are there significant differences in emotional and psychological development between boys and girls? Do boys express their feelings as much as girls?

Are there disparities in the educational system’s approach to teaching boys and girls? Do parents generally have different ways of disciplining their sons and daughters?

If you’re raising boys and have asked yourself any of these questions then this book is definitely worth exploring.  In this compelling research Dan Kindlon and Michael Thompson lay out some critical, if disturbing, statistics on how cultural dynamics affect the emotional growth of boys in this country. 

As leading child psychologists, they offer insights on revealing body language, behaviors and what they refer to as the emotional miseducation is their research.  The data reflects a recognized and prevalent macho culture that deters the emotional development of boys. 

These two well-versed psychologists thoroughly examine societal impact on boys’ emotional growth and expression, albeit apologetically.  From home life to school to the professional world, the stark statistics show how downplaying their emotions can be ultimately detrimental.  But does this culture deliberately discourage discussion of boys’ feelings for the sake of making them men?

Aside from what appears to be a justification of defiant behavior in some parts, there are some statistics that all parents raising sons should be aware of.  When you read the figures for diagnosis of ADD and ADHD for boys, the pedaling of pharmaceuticals and subsequent medication that render them passive, you may be shocked.

It is also worth noting how some schools’ approach to the education of boys and girls varies, to the potential disadvantage of our sons.  The personal anecdotes from individual and family counseling sessions make this an accessible and thought-provoking read.

May 21, 2012

Without Spanking or Spoiling:                                                                                       A Practical Guide to Toddler and Pre-school Guidance, A Book Review

Many parents are clear that spanking is not a healthy choice or an option in raising well-adjusted children. Those same parents may also find themselves at their wits end with some their child’s behavior, begging for patience.  Fortunately, there are thoughtful methods to regain self-control for both you and your child.  While this is not a recent publication, Elizabeth Crary’s guide offers concise exercises for promoting positive behaviors for parents and children that is timeless. 

Crary, a parent education instructor at North Seattle Community College, has provided an indispensable reference for all who raise children and struggle to keep up with their rapid growth toward independence.  She coaches on recognizing what our core values are as parents and how we impart those values to our children, while giving them room to explore other possibilities as well.  We’re also called to task in identifying our children’s traits and assets.  For example, is your child “easy or difficult?”  No parent may want to admit the latter…

Some excellent points Elizabeth Crary discusses:

Active Listening (with your child):

·         Avoid repeating yourself

·         Think before you speak

·         Set the stage for compliance

Increasing Appropriate Behavior (and decreasing inappropriate behavior):

·         What are positive and negative strokes

·         Focus Time

·         Positive reinforcement

·         How to effectively praise your child

Teaching New Behaviors:

·         How “modeling” encourages desired behavior

·         “Simple instructions” are most effective

·         “Shaping” requires developing a plan to teach a new skill

Every parent should have a copy of this guide for raising young children at home, for accessible advice on positive parenting tips.  Also check out the University of Oregon’s Education Department for some of their latest research on early childhood development:

May 16, 2012

Cinderella Ate My Daughter:                                                           Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture

A Book Review

Do girls innately love the color pink? If so,  always been the case. Do girls naturally aspire to being princesses and fairies? If not, where did the urge come from? How are our daughters’ self-images affected, and their future options shaped, by the “princess” phenomenon?

Peggy Orenstein does a phenomenal job at researching parsing the marketing strategies that appeal to “the new girlie-girl culture.”  This New York Times Bestseller, is well worth the read. In these times of marketing bombardment, we are constantly sifting through the vast piles of “stuff” pedaled to our children. 

Parents are often ethically challenged in deciding what toys really enhance our children's development.  But how does marketing target children based on gender and what formula do the toy and fashion industries use to lure youth?

Even if you never intend to purchase Disney Princess paraphernalia, Hannah Montana gear or a pink pistol for your little girl, this book draws such powerful parallels on how these products are marketed to girls.  The author hilariously, if tragically, looks at how girlie-girl culture infiltrates the home in spite of our best intentions as thoughtful parents. 

Orenstein closely examines how advertising moguls have intentionally linked products under a “pinkification” umbrella force-fed to girls, and ultimately their parents. From toy conventions to beauty pageants to, yes, gun shows we see a grim correlation on how girls are pigeon-holed into one demure princess category for the sake of selling products.

Looking back to Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Peggy Orenstein reviews coming-of-age tales for girls that have taken a drastic turn in recent years.  Is the current emphasis on self-empowerment or low self-esteem leading to subservience? 

Because as parents we are our children’s initial filter and guide toward positive development, we naturally question how the surge of marketing targeting our kids hinders or promotes their growth on all levels.  This book is a must-read on that fantastical journey of raising our toddler to “tween” girls.