e72. The Power of Cuteness

The Internet has two main purposes: porn and cute kittens. The reason people like porn is obvious… or if it isn’t… well, that’s a different show. But what about the kittens? Why do we like cute things so much? The answer isn’t as obvious as it seems. For one thing, cute is a complicated concept. It SEEMS like a good thing, but then there’s also problems with it. It can be at once a complimentary and insulting. It can be objectifying and empowering. It can show admiration and at the same time infantilizing. We might like cute things, but we also kind of hate them. It turns out there’s a whole academic study surrounding the aesthetics of cuteness. Join Hannah, Mav and Katya as they get together and work through the details of the the theories of cuteness and their relationship to gender and cultural studies.

Citations and Links:

Oh yeah… and Mav with cat ears:

2 Comments and 0 Webmentions for “e72. The Power of Cuteness”

  1. By the way, this is another one of those episodes that had the weird static problem. I fixed it about two hours after it went live. So if you have it, try deleting and redownloading and it should be fixed.

  2. When my nieces were very young, I would often refer to them as cute. Once, however, after a baby sister was born, one niece, with all the self-assuredness of a four-year-old, declared: “I am not cute. The baby is cute. I am pretty.”

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