May 20th, 2008

I’d heard about Cute Overload before, but knowing my proclivity to become obsessed with adorable things, I’d stayed away. Then, in response to last week’s post on cute in contemporary design, a clever reader suggested I check out their “Rules of Cuteness.” Now, needless to say, I am addicted to all the squishiness.

Anyways, if you’re not already a Cute Overload fan, I definitely recommend their “Rules of Cuteness” posts. Much like Stuff White People Like, they make me giggle every time because they’re so true (insert amazed emphasis here). There’s rule #18, “If you have a tiny tail, it’s cute.” There’s rule #14, “If an everyday, small item makes you look small, it’s cute.” Even rule #35, “If you try and eat your own appendage, it’s cute.”

Of course, almost all of these cuteness rules apply to photos of adorable animals–but heck, analysis is analysis, without or without fuzzy bunnies. So let’s break out the real question: why do we find these things cute, and what makes cuteness so appealing? One essay I’ve read, which focused on cute in Japanese culture, suggested that adorableness soothes and relaxes us. Thoughts?

Tags: aesthetics, cuteness

5 Responses to “The Rules of Cuteness at Cute Overload”

  1. Soulofaqua Says:

    Woohoo! I’m clever! Now I must send this link to all my relatives and since we all spawned of Adam and Eve that means I need to show this to whole the world!!… nah to lazy to do so.

  2. Courtney Taylor Says:

    Something tells me Rule 35 only applies to cute fuzzy animals.

    A human trying to eat their own arm isn’t very cute… just weird.

  3. The Guy Says:

    I’d say it’s the internal instinct to care for our young. Our specie wouldn’t last long if we didn’t have a strong urge to care for the youngin’s.

  4. Bonnie Ruberg Says:

    Courtney, I’d say I could envision a cute little girl trying to gnaw on her own arm as being cute–but then again, as described, she’d already have to be cute to start with. Wow, what a mind puzzle…

    The Guy, it’s an interesting theory. If that were the case though, wouldn’t the things we think of as cute only be related to age? A number of them are (children’s eyes are proportionately bigger on their faces than adults’, and we think of large eyes as cute), but not all. Any explanation?

  5. Jenna Says:

    Great post. How often do you update? I am looking for new stuff to toss in my feed reader and this might be good. Later

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