December 30, 2014

The Need for a Cuteness Overload


The image on the right is of some plushes that my daughter recently handed down to some friends. She’s 15 years old now; she’s graduated to electronic toys. Yet, her furry friends kept her, and me, smiling for years. They were a reminder of the innocence of youth. They were reminiscent of the days before Advanced Placement classes, medical complications, teen angst, parent/child relationship difficulties, and switching up from kids’ to juniors’ clothing. 

Since I gave up the playthings, I feel that I gave up a part of my goodness, and my daughter’s goodness. I consider that the door to a lighter, more innocent time of life has slammed shut against my will.

Yet, is such an opinion necessary? Is young, uncomplicated childhood the only time of life that should bring joy to us? Indeed, some people don’t have easy upbringings to begin with. So, what hope do they have?

Live Always With the Innocence of a Child

I propose that we can all look beyond the “innocent” times of life to find pleasure in the midst of the most difficult times. I must search deeply for contentment because I am an intense person. I don’t always show it because I’m a reserved person in public. Yet, everything is serious to me. I think deeply and I react deeply in my own mind. For example, if someone offends me in the present, I am likely to recall times when they have also hurt me in the past—even decades ago.

The Cure for Intensity



This holiday season, I have made a conscious decision to brighten my days with movies that require me to suspend my disbelief, such as the one in the image below. These are movies that involve situations that are often divorced from most peoples’ reality, such as: winning legal cases and marrying a European noble against ridiculous odds.


Why have I chosen to watch this kind of movie? The answer is that I need to be reminded that sometimes the “good guys” win, even in real life. In other words, I crave uplifting information amidst the continual gloom broadcast through every electronic medium. It doesn’t matter how unlikely the scenarios portrayed in the films are; I still need the momentary mental boost. I need to get my mind out of its negative loop, which is amplified by the pessimism of the world.



Apparently, I am not the only one that needs to retrain my brain. When my daughter and I went shopping for dresses yesterday, the whole girls’ clothing department was stocked with merchandise such as that in the image above. Yes, Disney is out to make money. They want to sell the products from their latest blockbuster film, Frozen. In addition, parents want to keep their young daughters happy by outfitting them with images of their favorite characters. Yet, are those the only two reasons that the products sell well? 

The Psychological Benefit of Anything Cute

I submit that cutesy clothes and toys make the parents smile as much, or more, than they make children smile.


Isn’t that what we all need, more smiling amid the heartache? We might not wish to smile. In fact, I am such a serious person that I must usually make a conscious choice to beam.


When I make a decision to put on a happy face, I notice the following: when I grin on the outside, my mood lightens up on the inside.  I might have 100 things on my “to-do” list; but (even at my age), I can still give myself a load-lightening moment of freedom such as that pictured in the image above.

Conclusion

May we all take the time to give ourselves even a moment to enjoy the many moments of silliness that life offers.

How do you lighten your mood?