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Afro & Aura

When you google the search terms *african* *american* and  *cute* (with no quotes, of course) the first hits you get are associated with hairstyles. After that there are some hits for baby names.  This is a fascinating topic to me and I believe it begs a chapter in my dissertation. Among the biggest vlog topics on YouTube these days is that of one African American woman or another who has embarked on a “natural hair journey” or is otherwise describing some new miracle product that has finally knocked her kinky… Read more Afro & Aura

Here Comes BarbieB!tch!

It’s really not a surprise that cuteness is the preferred design characteristic of super-commodity merchandise and is therefore the chief brand aesthetic of multinational mega-corporations like the Disney media empire and the Mattel toy company.  The predominance of soft rounded plastics makes it so.  Known for their pop culture icons, Mickey and Barbie, you’d be hard pressed to come up with examples of more successful and durable branding. And along comes cute hip-hopper, Nicki Minaj fashioning herself as a Japanese street Barbie. Her name both rhymes and alliterates with Mickey’s.… Read more Here Comes BarbieB!tch!

Some Rhetorics of Cute

Of course, cute is problematic. Dan Harris in Cute, Quaint, Hungry, & Romantic has some wonderfully delectable quotes.  Here are a few: “Cuteness is not an aesthetic in the ordinary sense of the word and must by not means be mistaken for the physically appealing, the attractive.  In fact, it is closely linked to the grotesque, the malformed” (3). “So cute so as to pitiable – possibly because of a malformation…” (3). “the aesthetics of cuteness creates a class of outcasts and mutations, a ready-made race of lovable inferiors whom… Read more Some Rhetorics of Cute