He looked at her with a smile beaming on his handsome face and said, “You’re so sweet.” Elsewhere a mom lovingly looks upon her child and, with a hug, whispers, “How is my sweet baby today?” We yearn to be considered sweet. It’s attractive. It is a direct appeal to our senses, our taste buds in particular, where sweetness is calibrated and enjoyed. This sweetness is linked to pleasure, and pleasure is good, always good.
Let’s burst the bubble on sweetness. Traveling our senses, sweet lives in our taste buds and can be interpreted as cute to our eyes, our vision. Being cute has a biological reason. Cuteness appeals to and links the parents of an offspring too young to fend for itself into remaining close while feeding and protecting this cute, sweet baby.
Cuteness is entirely a biological function that nature puts into place to manipulate a species into survival. Anthropologists discovered decades ago that newly dinosaur-hatched babies were cuties; their parents stayed close to feed and protect. Human babies are round and cuddly and smell delicious, just like puppies. We yearn to touch them and cuddle them. That inclination to feel and hold is purely biological in our species. We have no control over this impulse. The only reason this is important is because the more we learn about what’s pre-programmed within us, the easier it is to enjoy what nature has given us. Maybe explaining it takes the element of mystery from this behavior, but it also allows us to identify when we are being manipulated, Transfer the sweetness and cute factor from parental instincts of preserving a species, and place them in that someone wanting to sell you something you don’t need or want. Given this situation, you need to be armed in self-defense against these allures.
The next time you’re walking past the cosmetics counter or the sports goods counter and someone smiles warmly at you, please know this is not a puppy needing a hug but someone wanting to pull you into their domain. Hold on to your wallet and walk on by.
You’ve been sweet. Thank you for reading.