On Being Cute

On Being Cute

Apparently, as a child I spent my afternoons dumping out all my books before reading them and falling asleep in the pile. Pretty. Damn. Cute. What made me even cuter back then was that I had bright red hair and a sprinkling of freckles across the bridge of my nose.

But cute isn’t supposed to last past the age of five. (Why are these freckles still here?) Perhaps if you weren’t cute as a child, you may reach a point where you’re just becoming “cute.” Even then, it ends in a couple of years because you eventually become “sexy” or simply, “attractive.”

I have remained cute for far too long, and that is not bragging. To combat the cute as I aged, I dressed like a boy and joined a basketball team. “Cutest player on the court!” I then went through a phase where I wore all black and pretended to like punk music. I even got spit on at a Casualties show. Word on the street: still cute.

When I grew boobs, I was ready for a change in compliments. However, in high school, a girl told me daily I was “so cute!” (“I just wanna hug you, you’re so cute!”) Easy for her to say, she was a knock-out. She was the kind of girl guys wanted to impregnate, not bring home to meet mom.

I embraced the cute in college until I was of legal drinking age. From 18-20, I enjoyed cuddling in dorm rooms and giggling with girlfriends. At 21, I tried to sip my drinks seductively and failed. I dressed as a slutty bumblebee for Halloween and an even sluttier Lady Gaga the next, both of which just ended in wedgies.

I got excited when a friend’s Japanese girlfriend kept calling me, “Kawaii!” but then found out it means, “cute.” Whatever.

As I near the ripe age of 25, cute means I still get carded at bars and girls younger than me say things like, “You’re gonna drive those high school boys wild because you’re so cute!” Cute also means boys hold your hand to pull you through bars and say it’s “not your fault” when their girlfriends get angry. Cute means you’ve perfected the wide-eyed, half smile in photos and you actually get what you want from making a puppy dog face.

Even though being cute has perks, I have not given up on reaching the next level of attractiveness. By golly, I will try on lingerie until I no longer laugh when I see myself in the mirror. And no, I will not wear that floppy sunhat while riding a cruiser bike around the lake. Too. Fucking. Cute.

Heidi Thomasoni hopes to be sexy by 30.