The idea of that, and how quote-unquote friends can really hurt each other deeply, and the idea that the enemy is out there somewhere, but really, where we get hurt usually comes from people we are close to. So “Cornflake Girl” really was about two women, that one felt that the other had really betrayed her.The inspiration came from Alice Walker’s book "The Temple Of My Familiar":
In the book, they talked about how young girls would be taken to a place for female circumcision, whether it was out in the desert of Africa or what have you, usually by somebody they trusted. A mother, a grandmother, somebody they loved, and of course the person that was doing this to them, taking them to the whatever you want to call it, the hacker or the mutilator, thought that they were doing the right thing, or else the girl wouldn’t be able to get married. They justify their betrayal, and that was really what prompted the idea of “Cornflake Girl.”But wait, says Adam (at Throwing Things), what about that story about how "she beat out Sarah Jessica Parker to star in an ad for Kellogg's Just Right cereal?"
Just Right cereal... female genital mutilation... it's hard to imagine a greater disparity in sources for a song. And yet... everything goes into the mix, doesn't it? You read books about all sorts of drastic and dramatic occurrences and your own life ticks on with its miniature but important-to-you events, it all swirls around in your poet-brain, and out pop a song (and, over the years, out pop stories about whether the song came from).
This isn't journalism. It's art, and the only test is: it's a great song.