February 26, 2024

The article discusses the impact of cuteness on global cultures and the psychology behind our love for all things cute. It explores the cultural history of cuteness, particularly in Japan, where cuteness has ancient roots and has shaped much of its contemporary landscape. The tradition of seeing animals and objects as having human qualities in Japan’s animist worldview has also contributed to the domestication of animals, as many domesticated animals go through changes that are considered cute, such as smaller teeth and wider faces.

The article also mentions the dark side of cuteness, such as the health impacts on animals bred to be cute, as well as the potential misuse of cuteness in the context of AI and robots. Despite these potential downsides, feeling cuteness has surprising benefits, such as reducing stress and anxiety, heightening compassion, and making us more sociable. Overall, cuteness is a powerful psychological impulse that has remade everything from animals to robots, and the book “Irresistible: How Cuteness Wired our Brains and Conquered the World” by Joshua Paul Dale delves deeper into this topic.

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