America and the Death of Cuteness

When I first arrived in America, it dawned on me that there wasn’t anything cute here!

Cupcakes are pretty

Flowers are beautiful

Babies are adorable and sometimes, only sometimes cute.

But in general, nothing is cutesy here!

Kris explained to me that cute in American culture means childish and most adults chose to avoid that label like plague. I mean in American most people leave their homes at like 17 to go to college and hence you have a culture of fiercely independent adults.

Asians by contrast stay with their parents till they can afford their own homes and in Singapore there is no way you can afford any home on a single income, unless you spend every single cent of your pay check on housing and live on fresh air and love! I mean the median income of a Singaporean now is $3070. And the average rental costs of a common room  in Singapore is $800 (HDB), a master bed room (HDB) costs 1000 and a condo common room costs $1500 for a decent place. Do the math and you’ll quickly realise that it is because of practical reasons that most young adults choose/have to stay with their parents if they intend to have savings of any sort.

I digress, my post was about the death of cuteness and I have spent too much time on finances!

Anyhow as I was saying with this fiercely American and adult culture they have here, Kris has disallowed me to make this apartment cutesy in any shape or form. He has dictated that this is a ‘adult apartment’ and hence nothing cutesy can ‘survive’ in here. This goes against the very essence of my soul. I love cute things! I disagree that having cute things make you childish! I think having cute things makes you an appreciator of child-like things and therefore  makes you youthful and happier!

Hence I rebelled and went all ‘Occupy 20 exchange’ with my

1) Hello kitty bed sheets (courtesy of mummy)

2) Scott Cars Bathroom tissues (apparently they don’t call them toilet paper, too crude!)

3) Wise Owl bathroom mat!

**If Kris disapproves of these things, he can 1) Sleep on the adult couch, 2) Not wipe his adult butt and 3) have an adult shower in the sink** (I think I am so funny!)

However Kris is a wonderful man and besides, since 90% of the house is adult! 10% of cutesy things in the house should be A-OKAY! I argue vehemently that eradicating all cute things in my home is a lost of my rights as a human person! Hee hee *inserts melodramatic face*

6 thoughts on “America and the Death of Cuteness

  1. Michael Venzke

    umm. have you seen the mario toys all around my apartment?

    I put them in the medicine cabinet in the bathroom. And next to the dishes in the kitchen cabinet. And standing on every door ledge.

    But, if you must appear grown up, I think the best mix is the new wave of art based on fun characters.

    How could kris resist something like this:

    So, go find tasteful hello kitty artwork, and get someone in vietnam to recreate and ship it for $50.

  2. charbot Post author

    Hur Hur Hur! We have a theme for our art work at home. In the hall the theme is maps. So we’re going to have all sorts of ‘adult maps’.

    Also it just dawned on me that adult has a different connotation in the world of the internet!

    There is no such thing has tasteful hello kitty artwork only cutesy real hello kitty, crazily expensive made in Japan hello kitty and fake wannabe china hello kitty.

  3. Jessica J

    I think you are right about the “death of cuteness” in the US. While I appreciate a childish sense of whimsy and fun, I have to say personally that “cute” things – especially cute things that are for sale or selling something – just grate on my nerves. (Asian sensibility, like Hello Kitty, especially tends to run even further toward “ultra cute” than I can bear.) For example, I think a big-eyed floppy-eared puppy running around a yard is cute in an adorable, happy way. The same puppy used in a commercial or advertisement turns me off. I think for me there is a sense that I am being manipulated as a consumer by the producer of the good. Like, “you MUST buy this thing (for yourself or your kid) because LOOK HOW CUTE IT IS, with such big eyes and saccharin sweet colors.” Being around such things don’t make me happy; they make me feel shallow, conformist, and used. Maybe we Americans just already get all the “saccharin” we need from our Disney indoctrination and our oversized desserts!
    And in the US, it is not generally acceptable for straight men to like or even tolerate cute, girly stuff, so don’t blame Kris for being a normal American guy. I would really worry about him if he DIDN’T protest the Hello Kitty bedsheets, haha.

    1. charbot Post author

      Hey Jessica

      Thanks for your thoughts! It was very interesting the POV of other Americans instead of just Kris. (who acts like he speaks for ~313million Americans! :P)

      I get what you mean about being manipulated by the sellers. I feel the same way about branded stuff, buying them (no offence to anybody owning it, its a free country!) makes me feel like I have been sucked into this black hole of, ‘If you don’t buy them, you’re not as classy as the person beside you.’ Which ironically makes you unclassy/uncool/(insert suitable adjective) because if you need a bag to prove a point, you probably overcompensating for something more significant.

      I have no problems however, if you like the design blah blah, but buying something to ‘show off’ is just …… (Shall not offend my country! Whom by the way I love! *sings Majulah Singapura loudly* haha

      Plenty of people save like mad in sg to buy a LV, I mean our mean income is 3200SGD, there is no way so many people can afford a bag for 4000SGD.

      Interestingly more people hold a LV/Gucci bag that the folks along Wall Street. I actually stood there for 45minutes the other day just to observe people.


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