My daughter at three had an unwavering addiction to cute that has matured now that she is five into a kind of cynical consumption of “cute.” We spent a painful hour for me (joyful hour for her) browsing a Web site with hundreds of adorable pictures of kittens and puppies. There is a Japanese sensibility (kawaii) for this kind of cuteness, and cuteness it seems is not merely cute in a kind of purely innocent way but cute in a way that camouflage looks natural, cute as a deliberate confusion of signifiers. At three my daughter bought cuteness; at five she is fluent in cute. I am merely confused by cute. I did, however, find an The Aesthetics of Cute.

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