Princess sickness, alternatively known as princess syndrome or princess disease (Chinese: 公主病; pinyin: gōng zhǔ bìng; Cantonese Yale: gūng jyú behng; Korean: 공주병; Revised Romanization: gong ju byeong}), 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.
In Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau, 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 child's academic career to achieve higher grades. Some suggest that this results in dependence or a lack of responsibility.
In popular culture
- "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.
- "Princess Disease" – a song by British Power Electronics group Whitehouse on their album "Cruise"
- "I am a Hong Kong Girl with 公主病 (Gung Jyuh Behng) – Cantonese Word of the Week!" – YouTube video by CarlosDouh.
- Black American princess
- Cluster B personality disorders
- Jewish-American princess
- Little Emperor Syndrome
- "HK princesses rattle local hikikomori". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 2016-05-04.
- myhongkonghusband, Lina (12 October 2013). "公主病 – on princess syndrome and tough relationships". My Hong Kong Husband. Retrieved 4 May 2016.
- "THE PRINCESS SYNDROME: EMERGING CHANGES IN CHINESE SOCIETY « USI – Blog". usiblog.in. Retrieved 2016-05-04.
- Empiricism and analytical tools for 21 Century applied linguistics: selected papers from the XXIX International Conference of the Spanish Association of Applied Linguistics (AESLA). Ediciones Universidad de Salamanca. 2012. p. 451. ISBN 9788490121542.
- Speed, Barbara (30 September 2014). "Hong Kong's low birth rate blamed on women's "sexual problems"". CityMetric Horizons. CityMetric. Retrieved 3 October 2014.
- Wong, Bill. "Monster/Helicopter Parents and Their Children's Independence". Retrieved 29 March 2013.
- Carroll, Toby (28 July 2014). "Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement is about inequality. The elite knows it". the Guardian. theguardian.com. Retrieved 3 October 2014.
- Hu, Fox; Yun, Michelle (30 September 2013). "Hong Kong Poverty Line Shows Wealth Gap With One in Five Poor". Bloomberg. Bloomberg. Retrieved 3 October 2014.
- "2009–2010 Hong Kong Policy Address". Hong Kong SAR Government. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
- Tomohiro, Osaki (27 January 2011). "Exasperated teacher takes on Japan's 'monster parents'". CNN Travel. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
- Chua, Amy (2011-01-08). "Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2016-05-04.
- "Introduction of Jay Chou's music album". Retrieved 29 March 2013.
- "I am a Hong Kong Girl with 公主病 (Gung Jyuh Behng) – Cantonese Word of the Week!". YouTube.