Eh, it doesn't bug me. I don't think kids need to "learn from" every single thing they're into. It's probably just a phase. I think that on this site there's a lot of pride displayed in kids of both sexes who gravitate towards toys/activities that are typically intended for the opposite sex (so, girls who like playing in the mud and boys who like pink frills). It's that whole "aren't we such a delightfully progressive family" thing. But then if the boy wants to play in the mud, or the girl wants to wear pink frills, it's suddenly a concern. I think the message should be to accept them as they are, even if they don't play into our adult desire to have perfect little counterculture clones.
well.. the sad part of the princess stuff is that our kids ARE learning something from doing this.. that girls are weak and need to be saved. that their appearances are of the utmost importance. frankly, if children weren't marketed to so heavily, i don't think that much of this would be what they would choose on their own, necessarily. i dislike it not because i have some counterculture ideal, but because i am a feminist, and i read many things about the impact of 'princess culture' on children.