Squeezing the life out of ’em cuties!

cute aggression

Those fuzzy feels of warmth taking over the heart whenever we see anything appealing enough to present itself to us as cute sure make for a wholesomely universal human experience irresistible in the very character of its appearance. It is what makes doting parents and loving siblings out of otherwise mere humans, and drives even strangers to fall in love whether it be with someone of their kind or instead an overwhelming experiencing of the emotions for the four legged creatures instead. As a trait invariably present in all little ones whether they be identifying of the human assertion or not and in which capacity this arousing of the feels is unfailingly triggered, cuteness makes for an alluding to all things loving and caring through such physical expressions of this experience in fondness that come across as warming, tender and heart filling indeed reiterations of the cuddles and the hugs, of the coos and the kisses and such other evidently affectionate gestures elicited as involuntary responses on one’s endearing encounter indeed with such glory. And yet not every feeling entailed out of this experience in immensely endearing mannerisms of the bundle of cuteness serving as the subject would be one necessarily laced with the soft underlyings of tenderness despite the emotional sinking of it in absolutely gentle terms of realisation as possible. Many a times instead, cuteness can drive perfectly sane humans to depict such behavioral expressions that quite contradict the expected nature of its receival in absolute delicateness.

And yet calling it a deviation from the norm should be as surprising a revelation of this different way of expression upon any encounter of cute leanings. Despite the general notion of cuteness intended to inspire and arouse and evoke positive feels of nurturing, caring, loving, protective inclinations, this particular aspect in physicality or sometimes even of mannerisms that drives the world to so profound experiences of hearty measure also happens to be as ordinarily associated with something as ‘outrageous’ as aggression. No any uncommon is this apparent quality of emerging as cute leading one instead to display such extreme modes of behavior that border on the essentially physical lines of biting and squishing and even crushing at least in the verbal expressions of rendering the truest attribute of the feels. And yet this worded deliverance of what one desires to ‘do’ to the subject of cuteness whether it be a chubby human baby or a fluffy little pup is not an accurate representation of what one actually feels in all the emotions of it. As a dimorphous expression in fact, cute aggression makes for a fascinating case indeed of the mechanism of performing by the human brain, employing its capabilities in coping with the diverse many emotions felt at once on being faced with any such experience in overwhelmingness that is what characterise essentially this immensely adorable characteristic of human or non human nature.

In being a type of superficial aggression, in that one does not feel it actually within but only in their relaying of the immense amount of emotional upheaval that occurs upon stumbling upon the essentially ‘inciting’ expression in cuteness. And whether this display might find reiteration in such urge to bite and pinch or squeeze the object of cuteness or take on instead such physical manifestation in clenching of fist and gritting of teeth, this interesting indeed phenomenon of a generally positive realisation driving outcomes in perceived negativity though is one not peculiar only to the realm of cuteness. Other universal and as frequent examples of this type of very human behavior occurs in such instances as the most prominent ‘so happy that it hurts’ contradiction even when the cute assertion of this particular phenomenon tend to be more rooted in the notion of diametrically opposite versions of what it is vs what it appears to be.

Of course, as a mode of behavior so universal that almost everyone is likely to have experienced sometime no matter in what extent of its intensity, this aggressive assertion of what should be more appropriate as a caring citation in cuteness is no recent awareness to have dawned upon the realm of human exploration. The term cute aggression itself might not even date back by a full decade yet, marking its emergence on the etymological horizon most prominently only in 2013 but the experience itself transcends as easily the domains of time as it does those of the expanse in space. As a concept therefore, playful aggression has found expression in numerous cultures and notations of the world, encompassing definite nomenclature in themselves as well, whether it be the Filipino expression of ‘gigil’ or the Indonesian term ‘gemas’ as well as the similar almost ‘geram’ in Malaysian Malay. And while the Thai linguistic repertoire diverges well enough to encapsulate this emotion as ‘mankiaow’ instead, perhaps the most interesting interpretation of this curious still ambit of human nature occurs in some Latin American countries where it tends to have no direct reference as such. Instead in countries like Guatemala, this validation in cute aggression being ‘the thing’ occurs most prominently even without its residing in any unique denotations of language but alluding still to that spectrum of the emotional essentially eternal in its permeating of space and time and existences nonetheless. And it is in such heartwarming ‘applause’ of it as being such a regular part of life and living to not even command any distinct definition upon it that makes this whole awareness in the aggressive projection of cuteness a surprisingly diverse but no less ordinary experience across which we humans meander in all our ubiquitous adhering to this idea in emotional processing.

Despite this nature in essentially evoking more human notions of our existence that can come across as unpredictable but that which in fact more resolutely establishes the surprising range of encompassing and morphing of emotions, all this nuanced complexity of cute aggression isn’t without any reason. In fact as a coping mechanism adopted by the brain in response to the overwhelming assertions taking over it in experiencing something extreme so immensely powerful as well, cute aggression is a balancing out of a bit too much positivity with a counterattack through aggression. Emotional regulation is therefore what is availed out of this peculiar experience that itself is not without any good reason as well. Of evolutionary nature is this basis in eliciting such counterintuitive responses out of humans directed in fact to furthering a primal necessity in survival. Because cuteness is something typically characteristic of babies and young beings unable to fend for themselves, the experience in aggression is a jerking back to reality of the adult human who experiences it, otherwise rendered incapacitated by the sheer measure of the extent of overwhelmingness that take over their person. In jolting them out therefore of their momentary existence in vulnerability so that they can instead focus on caring and/ or protecting the more vulnerable dependant, cute aggression is more than a mere weird experience in isolation. More surprisingly, being the subjects of cute aggression can also help in teaching human babies to differentiate between such extreme displays of behavior in the real world in helping them identify the characteristics of true and superficial modes of such assertion. But the science of it all is not confined also to merely such aspects of helping acquire life skills or in ‘retaliation’ of a profusion in positive feels by something really negative even when not pursued in the intentional desires of them. The scope expands as well to account for such evidently physical characteristics out of which such nature in dualism charts expression, as being triggered by typical babyish attributes in appearance.

Occurring as Kinderschema or baby schema is this specific set of characteristics along which cute aggression basically plays out as an enhanced experience of the cuteness scheme of beings. With chubby rounded cheeks, big eyes, a large forehead, small chins and noses as the definite elements attuned in particular to arouse this dimension in the perception of cuteness, such babyish features most alluding but not confined in marking the younger beings of all species but encompassing also such adults with baby faces or babyish appearances are the potential triggers of aggression out of cuteness. Not even just living beings, but inanimate objects made to depict such traits also arouse similar leanings in squishing and squeezing and biting and pinching as one would so easily relate to in such experiences encountered upon some toy for instance. Why just toys though with obvious references to living forms, more inanimate things like even alarm clocks or car headlights can at times drive us to the same dimorphous response in expression simply with a more rounded, mini appearance of them. And despite such profound assertion of cuteness across the lines pertaining to aggression coming off as oxymoronic indeed, this very dwelling in duality is encountered in still another different response of cuter leanings. The physical proclamation of force however is dramatically overtaken by the more emotional might of a strongly sad feel that which comes across as the more appealing, universal expression of cuteness uttered in the awwws of a realisation equally exaggerated. The behavioral depiction in this case happens to be a frown instead that for some reason is less likely to be deciphered as a negative response to the largely genial fore of cuteness, even when this deliverance in sadness is no less contradicting in nature to the heartwarming encounter with something incredibly cute. It perhaps is the rooting of this latter mode in conduct in the gentle, tender vibes of which cuteness is essentially wanted to be evoking that makes it less ‘offensive’ an expression of dimorphous measure than what the mere parlance of cute aggression deems it out to be.