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The Cute Factor
January 7, 2006 9:03 PM   Subscribe

The Cute Factor: "Cute cues are those that indicate extreme youth, vulnerability, harmlessness and need, scientists say..." (NY Times registration req'd)
posted by shivohum (28 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Won't accept your link. Try this, and hit the top link.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:18 PM on January 7, 2006


Also see:
Kawaii
In Japan, Cute Conquers All
posted by maryh at 9:26 PM on January 7, 2006


See neotenic...
posted by Samizdata at 9:30 PM on January 7, 2006


"New studies suggest that cute images stimulate the same pleasure centers of the brain aroused by sex, a good meal or psychoactive drugs like cocaine, which could explain why everybody in the panda house wore a big grin."

OMFG!!1! Cuteness is just a stepping stone to hard drugs, gluttony and porn! Who's going to protect the children?

(Stimulating the pleasure centers of the brain sounds mighty sinful)
posted by Meridian at 10:04 PM on January 7, 2006


the only linked word within the article is 'Hitler'.
posted by avocet at 10:17 PM on January 7, 2006


Also: We're Sick And Tired Of Raising Your Young.
posted by skallas at 10:22 PM on January 7, 2006


A big problem is that not all living things are beautiful or cute at some stage. Most popular efforts for saving endangered species only get public support for the beautiful/cute.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 10:40 PM on January 7, 2006


MonkeySaltedNuts -- Most popular efforts for saving endangered species only get public support for the beautiful/cute.

PBF Archive : Executive Decision
The PBF comic has this covered
posted by Meridian at 11:00 PM on January 7, 2006


Well, now that the image dam has been breached:


posted by rob511 at 12:15 AM on January 8, 2006


Well, cuteness is an essential factor in making judgements.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:33 AM on January 8, 2006


And a visit to the Cute Overload blog is a must!


posted by Meridian at 12:36 AM on January 8, 2006


animals are hard wired to apreciate cuteness because it helps us automaticaly take care of our kids. There's obviously some back and forth (cute babies get more care then less cute) but mostly it has to do with the way babies must be, and so we are hard wired to love 'babiesh' or cute things.
posted by delmoi at 1:17 AM on January 8, 2006


Wow. I've never understood the nature of "cute." To me, it's always been synonymous with "annoying." I also have no desire to have children.

It's all so clear to me now.......
posted by Afroblanco at 1:53 AM on January 8, 2006


Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
posted by I Love Tacos at 2:29 AM on January 8, 2006


(Predicts this thread will be totally adorable)
posted by I Love Tacos at 2:30 AM on January 8, 2006


How about a Pork-Me-Up Bouquet™?

posted by RylandDotNet at 2:54 AM on January 8, 2006


Angiers is behind the curve. Where is the evolutionary science of enjoying seeing objects on cute animals, as seen in the above pancake shot and the Web site "StuffOnMyCat.com"?
posted by johngoren at 4:33 AM on January 8, 2006


What can be more cute than silly-attractive young ladies?


posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 4:45 AM on January 8, 2006


I agree that Angiers did not delve too deep with this one.

I personally think that any significant discussion of cute ought to reference Japan, where cuteness is often the most important attribute. More info at Paul Baron's extensive archive of "kawaii/cute" references.
posted by gen at 4:48 AM on January 8, 2006


I *hate* Kawaii.
posted by mike3k at 8:04 AM on January 8, 2006


You people overloaded the cute overload blog.
posted by signal at 8:10 AM on January 8, 2006


We've been quoting that cute = cocaine/sex remark for days now. Worth repeating.
posted by nobody at 9:24 AM on January 8, 2006


You killed Cute Overload.

My wife is very upset.

I thought you should know.
posted by Grangousier at 10:49 AM on January 8, 2006


This is a problem for sociology, not science. Never has cute been so omnipresent and maturity so vilified. Our is an culture of infantalization. America has gone Disneyland.
posted by ori at 11:55 AM on January 8, 2006


A curse on cute. I don't even like the word "cute." Slavering over "cuteness" is like a non-sex form of pedophilia. Or something. Whatever. But I especially can't stand the artificially "cute." Keep all artificially big-eyed beings (or is it big-eyed artificial beings?) the hell away from me.

That is all. Thank you for listening.
posted by pracowity at 1:47 PM on January 8, 2006


Bet you don't like makeup either.
posted by niloticus at 4:02 PM on January 8, 2006


Gen: "I personally think that any significant discussion of cute ought to reference Japan, where cuteness is often the most important attribute."

Actually, it did reference Japan, suggesting that cuteness there serves to soften the edges of a rigid, hierarchical society. Though that seems a bit superficial.
posted by Coherence Panda at 6:29 PM on January 8, 2006


Really, if babies weren't so cute, wouldn't we regularly murder the squalling little beasts?
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:02 PM on January 8, 2006


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