Cornflake Girl (5:07)

Cover of Tales of a Librarian

From Tales of a Librarian and 180 other releases

“Cornflake Girl” is a song by American singer-songwriter Tori Amos. It is the eighth track on Amos’ 1994 album Under the Pink. The song reached #4 on the UK singles chart, and was Amos’ most successful international hit at the time. In Australia, the song peaked at #19, and was #35 in radio station Triple J’s 1994 Hottest 100 poll, appearing on the compilation album of that year’s Hottest 100. The song was also ranked in Blender magazine’s The 500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born at #433.

The inspiration for “Cornflake Girl” came from Alice Walker’s novel Possessing the Secret of Joy, about a young African woman going through the ritual of female genital mutilation. Amos was angered by the idea that a mother could subject her daughter to such a brutal act, and the song arose as an exploration of the idea of betrayal between women. In the song two factions of women are referred to: the “Raisin Girls” are “multicultural” and open-minded, while the “Cornflake Girls” of the title are “narrowminded and full of prejudice”.

The reference to cornflakes and raisins comes from their distribution in a box of breakfast cereal, implying that “raisin girls” are much harder to find than “cornflake girls”. Amos has spoken in interviews about being referred to glibly as “the Cornflake Girl” due to the song’s title being applied to her, when she considers herself a “Raisin Girl”. The confusion is likely related to her 1987 commercial for Kellogg’s Just Right, made before her widespread fame. Just Right includes both raisins and corn flakes, so the song and the cereal are related either through coincidence or intent.

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