Cuteness – like most of the other qualities vital to Herthelan culture such as elegance and innocence – is not highly valued in modern Western Telluria. Even those who like cute things may well find it strange that anyone should consider cuteness in any way serious or important. Surely, even if you like it, cuteness is, by definition, trivial.
We beg to disagree. Let us examine what cuteness actually is. Naturally the Tellurian materialist ideology explains cuteness in terms of the animal thesis. It claims that beings that exhibit the “neotenized” characteristics of mammalian babies (large eyes, proportionately large head etc.) elicit a non-aggressive, protective, and affectionate response for obvious evolutionary reasons of survival. And if you believe that human beings are nothing but animals, that is all there is to it. All other aspects of the “cuteness” response are merely derivations of this survival-based instinct, just as all beauty, goodness, and spirituality are mere “sublimations” of animal instincts.
Of course, we do not believe that. We know that maidenkind is primarily a spiritual being and only secondarily physical. Biological and other material explanations may be true on their own level: but every physical thing is what it is ultimately because of the spiritual reality it reflects.
So what spiritual reality does cuteness reflect? Let us look at the Tellurian environment in which cuteness has become most culturally significant – that of Japan. In Japan, cuteness represents absolute goodness: the childlike innocence and pure, guileless kindness that should characterize the ideal human state. It is used by advertisers and even government bureaucracies in order to win trust by exhibiting this fundamental goodness.
Please understand that we are not discussing the sincerity of such usages, but the cultural meaning of cuteness, or kawaiisa, upon which such appeals rely. This is what cuteness actually means if we look beyond the material, animal-thesis explanations of the modern West. It is an invocation of the most fundamental childlike goodness: the quality expressed in the Herthelan Scriptures:
Unless your souls be simple as the running deer, My children, and your hearts as little children filled with wonder, how shall you attain liberation? Let your ways be gentle as the milk-white dove, and graceful as the gliding of the swallow.
Outside Japan, this fundamental goodness expressed by “kawaiisa” is readily understood, for example, in Mexico, where “chibi” images of the Lady of Guadalupe (actually an image of the Great Solar Mother) are hugely popular. Western minds, with their trivializing understanding of cuteness, can tend to see such images as somewhat sacrilegious; but their true meaning is quite the reverse. Those who use these images are devout and sincere. One of the most common inscriptions found with them is “Virgencita, plis cuidarme mucho” (literally “little Virgin, please look after me very much). It is a plea for the tender care of the fundamental mother-child relationship and shows the closeness of the inner spirit of cuteness to the deeply-bonded Herthelan sensibility of amity.
The popular website TV Tropes says of Kawaiisa in Japan: “Cuteness saturates Japanese culture so much that one can call this ‘The Cult of Cute’. Just like being sexy and attractive is considered desirable for Western women”. Similarly, in Herthelan society, cuteness on the one hand and elegance on the other are valued, rather than “sexiness”.
This does not mean that you have to be cute or even like cute things to be Herthelan, but the cute sensibility is deeply embedded in Herthelan culture, and the harsh cynicism that hates cuteness is not found here. Herthelani appreciate and encourage cuteness in others. Herthelani never have contempt for cuteness because they understand what it actually means.
It is sometimes objected that “cute” behavior is unnatural. We would say in the first place that most behavior is “unnatural” – the cynicism that hates cuteness is as much an “act” as the cuteness itself. Social interaction in a civilized society is a constant roleplay, and the “styles” of coarseness, cynicism, and explicitness are as much a social pose as any other style.
So we might simply say that the choice is not between being natural and being unnatural but between good social poses (such as cuteness and elegance) and bad ones (such as crudity and harshness).
But there is more to it than that. We would say that cuteness represents something much more natural in the deepest and best sense than cynicism. It represents what we really are and what we really want – absolute goodness and kindness, which is what every soul truly wants, rather than the protective mask of cynicism and coarseness that a harsh society forces people to adopt.
This is not to say that cuteness is the natural mode of expression for every girl. It tends to be preferred by “blondes” rather than “brunettes”, for example, and many girls may prefer a more “grown-up” style, tending toward the pole of elegance rather than cuteness*.
But cuteness is a fundamental part of Herthelan culture that is not only adored, but respected.