by Carlo Carrubba
Is cuteness an opinion or is it real? What factors in to make something cute? Why do you think your baby pet is cute? These are the questions I will be answering.
Many studies have found that the reason that we find things cute, or adorable, is pure instinct. Another reason is because human babies have all characteristics of something we think is cute. For example, a puppy.
It has short limbs, a small nose, and relatively big eyes. It can be kind of plump with baby fat, and is friendly and non-aggressive. The description I have just provided can be swapped out for a human baby.
Although you may think human babies are cute because they have evolved, it is the other way around. We have evolved to think that human babies are cute. This has programmed our brains to respond to anything that has the traits of a human baby protectively. Our response is triggered by dopamine, which is also known as the “happy chemical”.
As you may observe, humans get less and less cute as they age. By the time they are old enough to fend for themselves, they have exited the “cuteness stage”.
Cuteness is also why we are ok with eating some animals and not others.
So, even though cuteness does trigger dopamine releases in the brain, it is a tool used to bend our will forcefully into the small beings we can’t say no to. Some dogs even have muscles in the back of their eyes. They trigger these muscles making their eyes bigger, and cuter. It is sometimes impossible to fight their will.
All that I have just described is part of the kinderschema. This is a set of principles established by a researcher that was trying to figure out what makes things cute. This scheme is found in human babies, and it “spills over” into other species. Anything can be made cute by using the set of principles I have stated above. Disney animators have all made cute characters, and (even Mickey Mouse, an oversized mouse can be made cute). that means our bar for cuteness is set pretty low.
So, I have concluded that since we cannot control what we think is cute, cuteness is most definitely not an opinion, and it is a real thing. What surprises me is that even the most innocent looking creature has the power to instantly subdue you using nothing but its traits. Even a baby can get what it wants from you using the most powerful tool called cuteness.
Cuteness is a thing. Undoubtedly.