Do you think princesses only exist in fairytales? Not true. According to The New York Times, experts say that more and more North American girls are being raised to be picture-perfect princesses. That emphasis on beauty and perfection is causing them to grow into severely insecure young women. It’s also putting them at a huge risk for everything from eating disorders, to risky sexual behavior.

Author Peggy Orenstein’s hot new book, “Cinderella Ate My Daughter,” casts a spotlight on the princess culture. She says that starting from birth, today’s girls are programmed to brand themselves as “sparkly princesses.” They’re showered with hyper-girly products, everything from mini pink high heels, to tiaras, to “Cinderella” costumes. The hit reality show “Toddlers and Tiaras” documents just how extreme parents are becoming in their quest to create picture-perfect toddlers. For example, one recent episode shows a mother forcing her five-year-old screaming daughter to get her eyebrows waxed. After it was done, mom didn’t comfort her sobbing daughter. Instead, she just said “Doesn’t that look pretty?”

Experts warn that the girlie-girl culture’s hyper-emphasis on appearance and perfection usually backfires. That's because as the princess tots turn into teens, their self-esteem plummets. They’ve been trained to believe that appearance matters more than their personality and intelligence. So, they judge themselves purely on what other people think about their appearance, and that severe lack of self-esteem boosts their risk of depression, eating disorders, and wild sexual behavior.