Wednesday, February 13, 2013
It's Fun to be Cute!
I was contemplating the purchase of a new skirt (not that I need one). This one had me at "clipper ships on a black background". It looked like the wallpaper in a little boy's bedroom circa 1950 (when it was still okay for me to play in one). As so often happens, my first reaction was "Now who thought that was a good idea?" The more I looked at it, though, the more those ships were inviting me to sail away.
But who needs a summer skirt in February? Time and again I make the mistake of buying too early, regretting purchases made for occasions that haven't occurred. So far I've resisted said skirt, though it's playing on the soundtrack of my mind.
This skirt's provenance has a website— with product reviews. Though praised for its quality and style, one reviewer said, "...if I were a few years younger I would get it in a heartbeat. However, I am 50, a young looking 50, but, still, there comes a point when something can be too cute. Don't get me wrong, it's not overly cutesy. It's just not for me. Or maybe not at full price."
We're not talking "Hello Kitty" cute here. No ruffles or bows. Not too short. Not Rainbow Brite. What is it about the skirt— or the concept of cute— that is not acceptable? By "cute" did she really mean "fun"? In the lexicon of retail-speak we are taught not to label anything flattering as "cute" because we, as grown women, don't want to look "cute". On the other hand, "cute" is the first thing we hear among friends who are shopping together and praising each others' choices. "Cute" is a wink and a nod to youthfulness in a way (I've always thought) that was positive. And "cute" is certainly fun.
Since when does fun have an expiration date? Shouldn't our goal be to lighten the atmosphere, not weight it down? Sure, cute can turn silly in the wink of a feather eyelash, and fun gets funny in two letters. Neither is then a good look. Why this skirt? Why that thinking at all?
The reviewer did show signs of a possible change of heart. She did not eliminate the possibility of buying it once it goes on sale.