ⓘ Princess sickness


ⓘ Princess sickness

Princess sickness, alternatively known as princess syndrome or princess disease, is a neologism used colloquially in East Asia to describe a condition of narcissism, egocentrism and materialism in women, or "princess" behaviour. Conversely but less commonly, men with a similar outlook may be described as having "prince" sickness.

It is speculated that the term originated with the rise of the Four Asian Tigers across Asia, in which rapid economic growth may have contributed to a corresponding rise in consumerist or materialistic attitudes and upper classes investing heavily in their children, who might subsequently become accustomed to material wealth and domestic help.


1. Causes

In Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau, Taiwan low birth rates have meant that families often have only children that are the sole focus of their parents energies. In Mainland China, the resultant phenomenon, often attributed to the former one-child policy, is known as the Little Emperor Syndrome. A combination of helicopter parenting and presence of domestic workers, allowing middle-class parents to work, can contribute to their children being spoilt. A widening income gap in Hong Kong, along with concerns over democracy and social inequality, also reflects the perceived attitudes of the elite classes.

Furthermore, social mobility in East Asia is primarily based on personal and academic achievement. For that reason, parents may place a great deal of academic pressure on both children and their teachers, micro-managing their childs academic career to achieve higher grades. Some suggest that this results in dependence or a lack of responsibility.


2. In popular culture


  • "Princess Disease" – a song by British Power Electronics group Whitehouse on their album "Cruise"
  • "World is Mine" – a song by software voicebank Hatsune Miku
  • "Princess Syndrome" Gōng Zhǔ Bìng 公主病 – a song by Taiwanese singer Jay Chou in the album Exclamation Mark.
  • "Disease Princess" – a song by Japanese musician Masa.


  • "I am a Hong Kong Girl with 公主病 Gung Jyuh Behng – Cantonese Word of the Week!" – YouTube video by CarlosDouh.