If you're one of the many parents who has the soundtrack of Frozen playing on repeat in your head, you certainly know Elsa. And Anna. And probably Moana, Mulan, Ariel, Tiana, Belle and even Elena — to name a few.
Everything from Band-Aids, to bottled water, to training pants are plastered with their smiling faces.
"Princess culture," as it's been dubbed by psychologists, is inescapable among the preschool set and can leave parents royally confused. Should we be rescuing our tiny humans from the pretty, pretty princesses? Maybe, maybe not. (And by the way, good luck taking a Cinderella costume away from a 3-year-old and her friends.)
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Some argue the princess obsession is harming girls. Peggy Orenstein, author of Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture, says it contributes to the "self-objectification" and "self-sexualization" that many girls face during their teenage years.
She became interested in what she calls the "princess industrial complex" when she noticed her daughter drawn into the explosion of princess-related merchandise everywhere she turned.
The princess culture can lead you "to the next phase, which is what I call the Kardashianization of girlhood," Orenstein said.
There is some science to back up the critics. A 2016 study found that girls who are into princess culture at age 4 tend to be more gender stereotyped at age 5.
"Girls who adhere strongly to female gender stereotypes tend to limit themselves in different ways," said lead author Sarah Coyne, an associate professor of family life at Brigham Young University. For example, "they tend to think that they can't do well in math in or science," Coyne said.
A separate study published last month in the journal Science, found that girls as young as 6 could be led to believe that men were inherently more brilliant and talented than women.