Tuesday, August 3, 2010

"Cutesy" things - Why and who said so?

Sometimes I don't understand why it is that certain items that women are drawn to tend to be sought because they are "cute."  The things I'm referring to are things like fringe, pom poms, tassels, and the like.  Just who chose these things as cute and why are many women drawn to them?  I can understand jewelry but I'll never understand the $2 charm bracelet full of bouncy trinkets of varying shapes, sizes, and colors.

When you picture a powerful woman in business you get some idea of a pantsuit or a skirt and suit top and the like.  When you picture formal or semi-formal evening wear you get some idea of a sleek dress, some form of exposed bust, heels, and such.  Basically, when you think of what types of clothing get classified as "sexy," "sleek," "professional," "glamorous," and "beautiful," you find "cute" items noticeably absent from the mix.

If your female boss enters the room wearing a pinstripe black pencil skirt, a white blouse, silk scarf, and a black suit top you think nothing of it.  That is her look.  If she walked in wearing a top with fringe/tassels dangling from the sleeves and pumps with pom poms on the toes you'd probably do a triple take and have a puzzled look on your face.  It just doesn't seem right.  It's harder to take her seriously that way (I suppose why we have this change in reaction could also serve as a valid question).

I think that is where the problem lies.  Cute is just rarely consistent with the stronger and more sexual feminine qualities and at times just seems a bit immature.  If that is the case, just who chose what is cute and why are women drawn to it?  Taking it as a given that it is considered cute why exactly do they fail to fit in with more aspects of life?  Why are they considered feminine?  Is it because they serve no functional purpose?  Items like purses and bras are very functional but are also very feminine. 

A pair of fluffy earmuffs are also functional but they also fall into the "cute" category.  Take away the fluffy and the cuteness dissipates. 

It just doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me that items that are "cute" on a 4-year old continue to be "cute" well into adulthood.  One thing that does make sense to me is that "cute" generally makes up some of the more humiliating items of forced feminization.  An item that is in nearly all ways masculine or unisex in style and color can be made wholly feminine with the simple addition of some cuteness.  A simple black-knit beanie becomes girl's/woman's hat with the simple addition of a large fur pom pom on top.  A black leather jacket becomes a girl's/woman's jacket with the addition of some fringe dangling from the sleeves or front. 

I guess I'm just curious since the most humiliating times I've been dressed have usually been full of things that would have been cute on a girly girl but are flat out goofy on a man.

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