'Cute' Is A Four-Letter Word

If there is one thing I hate, it’s being called cute.
OK, ‘hate’ is a strong word. Although so is ‘love’, and we have no problem flinging that one about. Maybe not hate. Loathe, despise, abhor…

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those people who automatically react aggressively to receiving compliments. Unless it’s ‘cute’. Because ‘cute’ is not a compliment, not unless you’re under five.
Baskets of kittens are cute. Puppies are cute. Babies are cute (when not, as Shakespeare put it, “mewling and puking”).

This is cute:

Dalmatian puppy, three weeks-7

Unless you’re Cruella de Vil, in which case it’s fabulous, and would look so good on me, don’t you think? Speaking of Cruella de Vil, in the book she insisted on all food being peppered – including ice-cream – and still somehow got married. Married!

Anyway. Back to the puppies. (Daww….) Ahem.
I don’t mind if people want to use the word ‘cute’, it is, as they say, a perfectly cromulent word. But it applies to some things and not to others, or it loses all meaning. Sweet little juveniles (of whatever species): cute. Lady eccentrics who have attained years of discretion: not cute.

The reason this is weighing on my mind is that my hair isn’t. About 75 grams worth, in fact, lopped off by the hairdresser. If that doesn’t give you a clear picture (and why would it?) think 50cm. Or just under 20 inches.

I now look something like this:

Florence Turner Who's Who on the Screen

except, of course, different: messy instead of glossy, no make-up, and a smile (I seem to smile more with short hair – don’t know why). Definitely Not Cute. Short curly hair may be considered cute on a toddler, but not on a grown woman, even if a touch round-faced and an inch or two below the average height.

Is there something you hate to be called? Soi-disant endearments, diminutives (don’t get me started) or nicknames? Tell all!

6 Replies to “'Cute' Is A Four-Letter Word”

  1. I’m right there with you! I am way beyond the age of “cute”. The one that really gets me (even at MY age) is when some salesman calls me “honey” or “sugar”. I deal with a number of salesman from south of the Mason-Dixon, and it makes me grind my teeth when they say: “Now, listen, sugar, it’s like this… (whereupon follows some explanation of why the regular process won’t work for them). Gah! I want to reach through the phone and shake them until their teeth rattle.

    And I have to commend you. You managed to use the word cromulent AND the phrase soi-disant in a single post! Brilliant elocution!

    1. Thank you! Fortunately in NZ any man calling a woman ‘sugar’ is looking to get his teeth kicked in, but little old ladies sometimes come out with ‘dear’ or ‘love’. Eh, free pass, they’re old ladies…

  2. You got the chop? Nice! Are you happy with it – well you say you smile more so either the answer is yes or that heavy hair was giving you headaches and now it’s not!

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