Big Eyes

Feature

Friday, March 14, 2008

Big eyes are appealing on anything -- babies, cartoon characters, Jake Gyllenhaal. But our fondness for big eyes is the work of nature, not Disney. Studio 360’s Eric Molinsky found out how evolutionary psychology muscled its way into pop culture.

    Music Playlist
  1. Radio VW
    Artist: Ben Neill
    Album: Automotive
    Label: Six Degrees
    Purchase: Amazon
  2. Hello Kitty Theme Song
    Artist: Hello Kitty Atsumare Yoiko
    Album: Animation Soundtrack
    Purchase: Amazon

Contributors:

Eric Molinsky

Comments [3]

Sean Sakamoto

In the segment, I think you kept pronouncing "kawaii" as "kawai" which is a common mistake. They sound similar, but kawai means "scary" and Kawaii means "cute," so you kept saying scary when you meant cute.

May. 05 2008 11:19 AM
Sukyong

I happened to catch some of this on the radio but after the seven hundredth time someone said that all babies have big eyes and THAT is why they are cute I had to turn it off. Have you ever heard of East Asians? Many Korean, Chinese and Japanese babies have little tiny eyes in big round faces, and believe you me, plenty of them are very very cute. I don't disagree that white babies or black babies or even Asian babies with big eyes are cute, but I am also really tired of white media totally ignoring the existence and physical realities of Asian people. Not very 360 degrees of you, I must say.

Mar. 17 2008 04:11 PM
Chrysse Everhart from North Carolina

Disappointed, a bit, that the show didn't delve as deeply as it could and should into the context of all this cuteness. Maybe it's gendered socialization-- you're guys; I'm not....
In this culture, "cute" or not, a boy gets molested and there's a cry for money and justice; a girl gets molested and it's because she's "cute," and, tsk-tsk, wink-wink, you should've known better than getting mixed up with "Jail Bait." So this is the culture of our "cuteness."
I do think there's something to the dependence, helplessness, and innocence thing as a stimulus for desire. I do think it is based in whole or in part on pedophilia, and that pedophilia, latent or overt, is the basis for what is deemed attractive-- big eyes and lips, childish voices and bodies (although a child's body with big ol' breast implants is even better), hairlessness in quite post-pubescent women, and so forth. Men are not comfortable confronting this view on the topic, since they themselves LIKE childish attributes in their pin-ups, centerfolds, hookers, actresses, and wives, and to lend credence to this view means they have to face their own pedophilic standards of beauty.
As I see it. Puts Shirley Temple and Betty Boop and Jon Benet Ramsey and Meg Ryan into the same burlesque.

Mar. 15 2008 02:17 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.