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Caught up on Cute

As I stated in probably my first blog, I love words and use of language. Well, over the past couple of days I was put to challenge about my vocabulary choice on something, and like the true person I am, I did what I felt resonated with me. Always up for a learning experience I let it sit. Well, today I was running a few errands and I heard the word “cute” referred to something I was wearing. My feathers got ruffled.  For years I have said that the word “cute” in my definition (and this is my blog) is for puppies, babies and children. I have such strong emotions when a full grown adult woman refers to another woman as “cute.” “Your shoes are cute,” ” that belt is cute“, and if it’s really striking then we upgrade the compliment to major cute. Come on, I am over the age of 13yrs old. I know I’m going to get a lot of flack from this one, but can we please substitute “cute” for an adult adjective? How about “it’s lovely,” “it’s beautiful”, “that’s gorgeous.” When I returned home and got back to my laptop, my screen saver, which is by the way is Word of The Day, flashed the 4-letter word chic!! Eureka! What an appropriate option for the 4-letter word cute! I tell you the universe is aligned.

I confess I have used this before and know that it is meant to be a term of liking and approval with most women and girlfriends, etc. But cute? I thought about it this afternoon and reflected on my world travels and girlfriends around the world. I listen to women conversing and shopping with my friends, and “cute” is  not a common word used to refer to a great pair of shoes or gorgeous top. The Asian culture uses “lovely, beautiful and exquisite.” My girlfriend in Paris, “lovely, chic, beautiful and of course tres chic and tres jolie. The Italians….there’s nothing Italian made that “cute” can capture! Seriously!  I can’t picture any of my favorite designers such as Carolina Herrera or Valentino ever placing that term on their amazing designs. They themselves, never look “cute” even in their relaxed environment photos. Can you imagine Anna Wintour or Sally Singer of Vogue saying the expression of fashion in the magazine is CUTE?? Gasp! I clutch my pearls!! I even went as far to play the devil’s advocate and thought maybe I was just being a bit elitist at the use of the word. Nope. If you go back in our American history and think back to women of style and our mothers and grandmothers it’s simply not a term that was commonly used. I reference this from personal history and watching one of my favorite television series on AMC’s Mad Men. America was a dressed country with higher standards in personal appearance and presentation. Not a single female character refers to another’s clothing (and I must confess the fashions are to die for!) as “cute.”

So, with all of that I say this. We have become caught up in “cute.” The term, even it’s dictionary definition has a dainty, youthful connotation. Have we just become lazy when it comes to language? I am guilty. Without sounding like someone you’re not, I challenge you/me to reserve that endearing adjective for children, young girls under the age of 13yrs and puppies!

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