Tuesday, October 28, 2014

可愛いのに (Even Though You are Cute...)

Recently I came across a phrase that gave me pause, and as it has been tumbling about in my brain for a bit without coming to a satisfactory conclusion, it shall end up here for public(ish) debate.

The perturbing phrase was: 
'Even though you are so cute, you still care about/are interested in the homeless'.

Now, just take a minute to let that sink in and roll around your brain for a minute.

Since when does cuteness have anything to do with humanity? 

I have heard people here make comments about (primarily women) who volunteer a lot and are not blessed with media-sanctioned good looks on the lines of : 'yeah, she looks like she would volunteer a lot'. Does this mean that only 'homely' women volunteer? Perhaps the implication is that they are not attractive enough to find a mate to snarf up their time? How incredibly narrow minded, should that be the case.

Are the cute exempt from responsibilities to their fellow (wo)man? Are they too busy traipsing along in high heels on the arm of some dude? Is it 'dangerous' for cute women to be close to the homeless? Is their time considered more valuable? 

Perhaps it is more a societal issue. Homelessness is often seen as being due to some flaw in that person, when in fact people often become homeless due to reasons beyond their control (escape from abusive situations, loss of home due to illness, mental illness, sudden firing after the age of 50 etc). So, are these people not worthy of support? Considering some of the reactions I have personally heard when going to help out at food pantry events, this is a persuasive argument.

Or maybe it is a comment on the lady in question instead. Are cute people supposed to be vapid and innocent to the messier sides of society? 

It is the のに (even though) part of the phrase that bothers me. Why couldn't it just be 'you are super cute and your concern for other people is praiseworthy'? Telling people they are awesome is certainly a nice thing to do, but it doesn't have to come with a side of comparisons.

Thoughts, suggestions or comments welcome.


  1. I agree, it is just an all around, bad meaning and badly worded sentence. When does doing for others have anything to do with outward appearance? It doesnt. It has everything to do with inner qualities. I would be totally offended if someone said that to me

    1. Indeed. It was not directed at me, but left me staring at my computer screen for an inordinate amount of time.

  2. I wouldn't read into it; sounds like a thoughtless, stupid thing someone said. Of course it's senseless on its face, but unfortunately lots of people judge others based on appearances and hold preconceptions. I guess whoever said that thinks good looking people tend not to be kind. =P