cute posers (more performativity)

I’ve been thinking about and observing social performativities. one of the thinks that caught my attention is the idea of ‘cuteness’, quite an important concept in Japan. to start with, it is what it is. cute means cute. but why I refer to it is because I think in Japan it occupies many spaces: cute is a style, and a way of behaving, a way of singing, a way of designing posters and using furry little mascots in every metro publicity, cute is using drawings instead of pictures, cute is giving characters big eyes and small bodies. in Japan they have words for cute: kawai, moé, and cute itself, of course. in Japan, male escorts (I’m not sure if they are prostitutes all the way) are slender, elegant, dressed and made up, and somehow feminin. my friend Dex says that way they are not threatening. my impression is that in Japan both girls and women generally like to pose as girls. a lot of them walk a clumsy walk, with knees rotated inwards, wearing high heels but constantly tripping over them. I am quite sure it is a fashion (and a sexual stereotype) rather than a generalized postural deficit (and: a fashion that might be rapidly increasing the ammount of women with postural problems). the idea, I suspect, is to look cute.

so, trying to get somewhere from all that ranting, though the whole cute thing doesn’t completely work for me, I am fascinated by how it works in groups, by it’s acceptance (or something like that). I try to be more clear: I think everyone sees it as a pose, but the cool thing (really cool social code?) is that everyone is cool about it. one poses as cute, and another one who poses as something else (we are all posers, right?) celebrates the cuteness of the first one. I find it surprising that different groups or characters don’t seem to define themselves (at least not so much) in opposition or conflict with others… is that very democratic?


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