Things about which we can all agree: Babies. Cute. Puppies. Cute. Kittens. Cute. What about Carey Mulligan’s pixie cut? Cute. That floral summer dress from Anthropologie? Cute. Your friend’s Mini? Cute. The video of the mouse curled up next to a sleeping cat? Too cute for words.
If cute is your go-to descriptor for everything from shoes to paint colours, then chances are one, you’re a woman and two, you are most definitely not a man.
There is a world of cute out there and sometimes it seems as if we women are on a gooey-eyed mission to sort and label every last adorable animate or inanimate thing.
A recent article on Canada.com, cited a study conducted by researchers from Cleveland State University and published in the Journal of Consumer Culture, which diagnosed and analyzed the propensity of women to describe what they liked as “cute.”
The word was so universally applied and ubiquitous among women — transcending generations and social classes — researchers decided that it answered some sort of feminine, “psychological need for reassurance.”
The results of previous studies suggest that we use cute things — a photo of baby bunnies locked in an embrace, for example — to dispel bad thoughts or images. Cuteness overload may help our brains to forget all our troubles and our woes as for that short exposure to something pure and innocent we are distracted from what’s happening in Sudan.
Pressing send on an email containing a picture of a pug in a Halloween costume is a soothing way to simplify and redirect our troubled thoughts.
Researchers report “cute” is a remarkably gender-specific term — the male equivalent would be “cool,” which, interestingly engenders a whole different sentiment.
For women, cuteness, “evoked comfort, nostalgia, charm or cheerfulness,” said the study.
Unless of course it was being used to describe Ryan Gosling, in which case it’s safe to assume that a whole other set of feelings unrelated to nostalgia were being evoked.
What’s one word you say all the time? Tell us in the comment section below.