Or do. Because honestly, I’m long past the point of being concerned with how I’m perceived by those who choose to underestimate me. I am a very cute human, and I’ve decided to own my cuteness! It’s true, I like rainbows and pastel colors, and most of my favorite tv shows were made for children. And yes, I do feel the most like myself with pink or rainbow hair, and either dressed like a cupcake or a thirteen year old dork from the eighties… but that’s beside the point.
My collection of desert themed accessories and lifelong friendship with Hello Kitty isn’t what defines me or even what makes me cute. But those definitely seem to be the things some people get stuck on when it comes time to treat me with respect or understand what I’m capable of.
When I googled cute just now, Oxford told me that it meant “attractive in a pretty or endearing way”. But I don’t see cute as a label someone else applies to you. I experience cuteness more as a feeling, or even a state of mind. If you feel cute, then you are cute, that’s how it works. And I’m definitely not cute all of the time, I don’t think anyone is (ok, maybe Hello Kitty, I’ll have to ask her).
I came up with the phrase, “Don’t mistake my cuteness for weakness”, and made this art for myself. I needed a way to remember that my cuteness, softness, kindness and the vulnerability that make it all possible, is actually a feat of strength. And I turned my art into a t-shirt, sweatshirt and poster to share with you, just in case you also needed the reminder.