Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Popular abstract concepts

What is cuteness? How do you define it? Where does it come from? And when the fuck does it go away?

Exhibit A:

Note the diagram's illustrations using a classic example I like to call, "Disney kewt". The posture, the expression - the chubby cheeks - the basically exaggerated features. "Cuteness" is distinguished by its deviation from the normal physiological mode.

Essentially, cuteness is disfigurement.

That is why we think the nigh-microscopic sized purse-dogs are "SOOO KEUT!" Because they're so pathetic that they have to wear doggy-clothes so as not to freeze to death, and can't even go to the bathroom properly. Kewt is when we look at something and say, "awww...!" (As I'm sure all the ladies reading this blog are doing right now.)

Cuteness comes from looking like an impossibility that actually happened. Something so grotesque seeming that we just want to push it to our chests and squeeze the life right out of it, all the while calling this a "hug". Even babies, whose heads are cone-shaped upon first entering the world, wailing like La Llorona and dripping from after-brith, are considered ADORABLE.

I'm sorry, is that really cute? Or is it just biological nonsense? Why do we glorify these particular oddities while condemning others. What makes this:

so goddamned KEUWT, and not this:


I mean, they're both fucked up. The cat doesn't even have a tail! But these precocious twins from the Ozarks are ugly, even though they've got wonderful Dumbo ears, while the kitten will make most people's heads explode in a cute-factor overload. It must have something to do with our early enculturation via Bambi, Carebears, and My Little Pony. We've been brought up to think that only weird-looking shit is cute. Fucking western society...

Here's a website, dedicated to the presentation and study of all things cute. I check it semi-regularly and it provides me with endless amounts of lil' baby kittens, fat-faced hamsters, and other deliciously cute things that you just wanna EAT UP.

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Get at it, boyos.

7 footnotes:

Anonymous said...

"cuteness" is a byproduct of evolution, not disfigurement.

Zek J Evets said...

nice clip, but i think you're taking this too seriously. i was only speaking aesthetically.

and still i disagree. modern-day cuteness is not determined by evolution but by pop-culture. evolution set the bar, and then society tipped it on the side.

(how else can you explain pokemon?)

JacqueRoxx said...

I can't keep my eyes off those twins. I scrolled back up about 5 times...yikes. Animal cuteness and human cuteness are two completely different things.

Jessica said...

Hey, I've been meaning to call you but I've been kind of sick. Got home from the hospital about two hours ago. How KEWT is that?! Anyway, you should call me when you have time 'cause I don't want to be a pain in the ass.

Lex said...

I like the kitty without it's tail I feel sorry for it because it has no tail, but still, it's a damn "kewt" kitty.

You made me roll my eyes with this post, I'm still trying to figure out why. Is it because you've never been in the "kewt" category? Are you mocking the concept because people don't apply it to you? Not saying you're ugly, you're definitely not. But you know why fuck with the "kewt"?

Zek J Evets said...

@lex: actually, i have been called cute MANY times - always to my chagrin. i prefer that "cuteness" just dies a quiet death, shanked in some back alley from a rabid hobo... well, sometimes at least.

TeenCreeps said...

disney cute is my favorite