Disney isn’t necessarily to blame for the princess mania that is currently engulfing our culture in swathes of pink tulle, but they’re certainly making a shit-ton of money off it. As Peggy Orenstein reports in her new book Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture, back in 2000 a Disney exec attended a “Disney on Ice” show¬†¬†and noticed how many little girls were dressed up in princess costumes…homemade princess costumes. And thus the princes industrial complex was born. There are currently¬†more than 26,000 Disney Princess items on the market, and in 2009, Princess products generated sales of $4 billion.¬†But why was there such an obsession to cash in on in the first place? One explanation Orenstein examines is the¬†developmental psychology research which shows that until as late as age seven, children believe that your preferences and appearance — from your toys to your outfit to your hairstyle to your favorite color — are what determine your sex.¬†All of which only makes us even more in awe of the little five-year-old boy who dressed up as Daphne from Scooby Doo for Halloween.