I'm A Grown Woman And There Are Better Words Than 'Cute' To Describe Me

by Hanna Mallette

Many have told me I was cute as a child, and I would agree with them.

Also, I really haven’t seen too many “ugly” children in my day.

I suppose it’s pretty difficult to think of a small human as anything besides “cute.”

I was a nugget from birth, weighing in at 5 pounds, 4 ounces, and stretching to a whopping 17 inches long.

Over the years, I haven’t grown much, but I had big eyes, long, lustrous hair and the “most precious button nose,” as my mother recalls.

It was also pretty clear that I inherited my father’s shortness (he's only 5'6"), and I might not be one of the tallest kids in my class.

Well, I am now almost 22 years old, and have still failed to surpass 5 feet.

I have come to learn that my short stature somehow warrants the frequent compliment, “You’re so cute!”

While some might be flattered by this gesture, I no longer f*ck with it.

I'm also sure many women would agree with me that they would rather be seen as "beautiful," "gorgeous," "hot," etc.

The term “cute” might seem like an appropriate label for the garden gnome I have become, but I would like to believe I have outgrown this adjective (pun intended).

“Cute” assumes that, yes, you are attractive, but almost in a childish, youthful or delicate way.

Thus, to me, being dubbed “cute” is infantilizing and even condescending.

When I think of cute things or cute people, I picture a toddler, a little pig in red rain boots, or a mini bottle of Tabasco sauce. Lo and behold, I happen to be none of these.

I will admit that I act childish in certain settings and around specific people, which can rightfully be considered “cute.”

Some may think of 21-one-year-old-me as “youthful,” but this word also assumes a sense of immaturity, innocence or lack of knowledge.

I believe I am mature [for my age]. I'm not that innocent, and I have a bachelor’s degree from a prestigious university, where I obtained a wealth of knowledge.

Lastly, I have never viewed myself as “delicate.” I have thick skin, a feisty attitude and I pursue my goals with relentless persistence.

Additionally, Kim Kardashian is short, but I don’t ever hear anyone refer to her as “cute.”

Shakira is shorter than I am, but I never see the tabloids label her as “cute.”

Even Megan Fox is only 5’4”, but most would agree that her appearance screams everything besides “cute.”

No one refers to these women as “cute,” simply because they’re not; they’re stunning, successful and they just happen to be short.

Therefore, height is apparently not determinate of this label, and being taller than 5’5” does not automatically make someone more beautiful than the rest.

I may stand at 5’0”, but like Kim K, Shakira and Megan Fox, I am a grown-ass woman, too.

Even in my shortness, I still have curves, an ass and I pleasantly fill out a B-cup.

These are features I personally love and embrace within my multilayered identity, as a developed woman and adult. I also do not find any of these traits to be “cute.”

In fact, I think the changes a woman’s body undergo are nothing short of beautiful and marvelous — especially because all our bodies develop differently.

Most women would agree puberty was not cute… at all. Many of us were probably less than that during middle school (I know I was… woof).

That said, my body has been through some sh*t, and I deserve proper recognition for the wondrous transitions I have experienced.

So, if you’re going to make a comment on my appearance — or any woman's for that matter — you should think twice before calling us "cute."