Last night I was admiring Ice-Bat, Meg’s Ugly Doll, and it reminded me of a NYTimes article I once read about the scientific explanation for “cute.”
Scientists who study the evolution of visual signaling have identified a wide and still expanding assortment of features and behaviors that make something look cute: bright forward-facing eyes set low on a big round face, a pair of big round ears, floppy limbs and a side-to-side, teeter-totter gait, among many others.
Cute cues are those that indicate extreme youth, vulnerability, harmlessness and need, scientists say, and attending to them closely makes good Darwinian sense. As a species whose youngest members are so pathetically helpless they can’t lift their heads to suckle without adult supervision, human beings must be wired to respond quickly and gamely to any and all signs of infantile desire.
And so, here are a few scientific reasons why Ice-Bat is so darned cute:
Holy crap that infographic is ugly. Way for them to completely discredit their own assertions.
yeah it was pretty bad. so bad that I didn’t want it uglying up the page!
yeah definitely austin is headin’ to austin methinks he’s got bats on the brain…. i go with meg the icebat’s a girl…look at that face, all i see is lisa simpson – girly, girl if there was one! smart girly-girl, but girly-girl all the same. currently down in tejas, where it currently seems more like the pnw than texas! totally crazy, hope you will be moving into a place on high ground otherwise shiiiiiit* who knows what it will be like! hey, when you move to austin, take a day trip to ft worth and go to the modern – the ron mueck show is NOT TO BE MISSED and if you like architecture the modern is also not to be missed. *when you become a texan, you will be able to say shit with 8 syllables…. greetings from the lone star state, kim
Lasseter’s googly bug eyes at Disney are so tiresome. So few emotions can be expressed, all of them over the top. No subtlety Glad to see a post about this issue. Part of the cuteness of Icy Bat is also the tiny pin dot pupils. When the eyes are allowed to be only suggested, rather than fully rendered, more of the full range of the observer’s emotional response can come into play. Glad to have ‘stumbled upon’ your website. Indirectly linked from a Google Alert on sustainability. That’s cool.
yea i think that might be the reason they are cute is because we humans have a tendency to help anything vulnerable looking. also i side with ice bat being a girl. ;)