Chapter

The Cute Kid <i>Images of a Wondrous Childhood</i>

Gary Cross

in The Cute and the Cool

Published in print May 2004 | ISBN: 9780195156669
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199868254 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195156669.003.0003
 						The Cute Kid Images of a Wondrous Childhood

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The modern notion of the child as “cute” as opposed to merely adorable or even charming crosses a boundary. The meaning of the word “cute” underwent a transformation, from the manipulative and devious adult to the lively charm of the willful child, suggesting a new tolerance for the headstrong, even manipulative, youngster. This suggests that the attractive, bubbling enthusiasm associated with children is no longer seen negatively as manipulative or devilish, but positively as charming and even desirable. The cute became the look of wondrous innocence. Cute children became the New Kids in dolls, illustrated stories, magazines, and advertisements. This chapter examines how parents contributed to the idea of the cute child through their style of child rearing, and how this image promoted consumerism.

Keywords: cute; wondrous innocence; parents; consumerism; child rearing; magazines; advertisements; New Kids

Chapter.  13402 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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