Capitalism and the power of Cuteness

by on September 2nd, 2005

Cuteness has always been associated with smitten things. It maybe the expression engraved on a child’s face as it observes a mischief, sealed permanently within the minute, and recorded on a Panasonic GV PS65, which retails for $599 at Circuit City, but was purchased at half that on a nifty eBay deal, FedEx shipping included. But where the mundane always carries a price tag, memory is priceless. For everything else, indeed, there is mastercard.

Cuteness indeed has become extremely marketable in a Corporate world which maintained for decades a puritanical monopoly over hotness.

Amazingly rounded posteriors and supple breasted members of the tender gender, spiriting across a flawless beach in an expensive lingerie outfit, with a golden abundance of hair cascading fiercely against an invisible breeze: “aw man, check out the price tag on that black underwear! That’s the whole of one half of my grandfather’s pension, and he killed like thirty Nazis at Normandy.”

As the heat dissipates, cuteness has arrived like a fresh breeze, sultry, but not too sweaty to handle; incalculably desirable, but calculated. A bargain, not a blowout.

And is there any bargain that is not cute?

While a Versace suit may cost three times a thousand dollars, for as little as thirty five it is possible to rack up an alternative brand of the same look from some less ventured corner of a certain popular auction site. So cute!

IKEA’s furniture selection has always been cute: retro-cute! It brings a slice of post 50’s Europe, and a refreshing modernism reminiscent of the carefree tunes of the Numa-Numa dance(a hit tune by the Moldavian pop-band called O-zone). It has been known for its affordable and tasteful selection: an affordable and tasteful selection today being imitated by Wal-Marts everywhere, at prices that tickle affordability into throes of hard giggles.

After all who can beat plush fluffy white carpets, and brown suede ottomans for an average of $25 each? Not the White House, not the Dalai Lama, not Target, not even IKEA!

Wal-Mart, with its $10 touch-light table lamps is winning the bold dash towards cuteness.

It is pretty much consensus amongst my friends (many of whom are considered hot), that they’d prefer a cute girl over a hot one.

In cuteness they find warmth, comfort, intimacy, and a zone of trust. Cuteness nourishes, tenderizes, and releases. It makes awkward price tags come loose. It disinherits absolute symmetry and grammar of its fashion-police office.

The brown haired, lively, young girl with that nice tan frolicking in an economic striped bathing suit is a reality closer to our comfort zones than that of an angular Amazon stridently sprinting across a beach into the clichéd visions of our mental bedrooms, making our wallets very, very, self-conscious.

While Capitalism remains by definition, “an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market”; Cute “attractive or pretty especially in a dainty or delicate way” has become pretty dandy and darned marketable.

“If God had wanted us to be concerned for the plight of the toads, he would have made them cute and furry.”

Dave Barry(American Writer and Humorist best known for his weekly newspaper column. b.1947)

Alexander Rai