Free Daily Reads 2022: Article 192

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Article Title: Why the power of cute is colonising our world


Article Summary

The article at hand tries to explore the reason behind the popularity explosion of ‘cute’ things in modern times, and comes to a large array of startling conclusions. On the face of it, cute things may offer a mental image of escape from the harsh threatening realities of an extremely polarized world of today, invoking childlike sentiments, emotions and corresponding protectiveness. However, the author argues that greater and deeper significances are at play in the appeal of the ‘cute’. Cute successfully manages to merge several boundaries of disparate things, like the boundary between knowing and innocent – as shown by the example of the Balloon Dog series. It exposes the stark realities of the world in a garb inherently non-threatening. The appeal of cute also lies in the fact that its very existence and expression is continuously changing, like the culture of today, where flux is predominant. The other boundaries that cute blurs are those between sexes, between good and evil, and between something being a sex object or not, and such fluidity of assumed boundaries also characterizes today’s tastes. Cute can also vest power in the party not cute, or take power away from it. At its heart, finds the author, the obsession with cute is probably about reshuffling power hierarchies in the world, especially after World War II.

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Words to learn from this article:

Escapades: an escape from daily routine into stirring and unusual activities that involve fantasy or adventure.

Altruistic: behavior that carries a sentiment of helping others at cost of harm to your own self.

Ubiquitous: present everywhere.

Uncanny: strange, unusual, and often threatening.

Unmenacingly: in a non-threatening manner.

Dichotomies: the differences between polar opposites.


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