I need to ask this of both genders and those not feeling insecure about social protocol.
"Cute Kid!" or "oh! He's such a little cutie."
When graphic arts people with whom I work, would sometimes have to work kids into marketing material I was responsible for. So the term "cute" would come up in conversation with these people when dealing with child models.
Who's "cute," or "who's not cute enough?" Or maybe "she's just not the 'chill blondie I was thinking we would have." "Nah...he's really cute, but does not have a studious look about him." "OH! This little guy is SO cute! I love little boys in glasses" said a female graphic arts person.
First: these conversations and the nature of this work would flip me right the farg out! First, they are 'child models.' So they are employed or rejected upon their look??? That gives me the creeps, because that indicates to me, some animal, primal instinct is processing a child's face, body, eyes, etc., into some degree of appeal.
Second: The child is put in that position for being "liked or wanted" based upon his/her appearance. That's WAY to heavy for me to accept.
Third: What is this word "cute," and what does it mean? What does it really, truly mean to the adult looking at the child...saying those words.
A pedophile is sexually 'turned-on' by children. Some claim to have a 'type' of child, or an age-band they like to target. They drool over the 'looks of a kid.'
In adulthood, (or MY adulthood), my perceived interpretation of "cute" and "pedo-hot" look like the same application. Its FAR too creepy for me. I don't 'get it' as a legitimate adult valuation of a kid.
As a child, I recall never thinking in any way, shape or form that any peer was "cuter" than others. I did not see anyone as "cute." We were just kids. Even now as a parent, I refuse to use the term and I just don't 'get' when, where, or why I would do so.
So if anyone wants to hop in and help explain this cute concept, it would be awesome, as I genuinely don't get it.