I. INTERVIEW WITH AN AUSTRALIAN WOMAN
Interviewer : Gabriella
Interviewee : Angela
G. Okay Angela, during an English lesson at University we students had to interview each other about an event that we experienced personally. While this time I would like to interview you about the topic “The importance of being cute”. I read also an article about this subject and I learnt the different use of the word “cute” between American people and British.
During the year in which I studied in Spain, in Valladolid, one of my flat mates was American: she is a photo model in Washington. And I remember that she always used the word “cute” for a new dress, for a cake, for a new hairstyle, for everything. But by reading this article I understood that, in general, the word “cute” has a lot of meanings like: charismatic, appealing, satisfying, beautiful, tender like new babies could be identified like “cute”.
In general, “cute”, I think, is a gratification that the speaker wants to give; of course, a President or an actor can be cute not only for the physical aspect but also for the character. One sentence of the article that made me reflect about is: (I’m reading the article) “And if you’re cute enough, you can have anything ”.
What do you think about it? Could this be true or is it just a tale?
A. Well, since I look at it, I think is true. Being cute open doors makes people stop and listen to you but actually to have success there has to be something more than the fact of being cute.
G. Uhm, uhm. Yes, I think it’s true and apart from that in the article that I read said that for British people the importance of being cute is dimly perceived. As we know, the appearance, unfortunately or luckily, depending on the points of view, is so important but of course “it is possible to be well known and successful without being cute ” I think….
According to you is the “cuteness-factor ” so important as they explained in the text?
A. As I previously said it is important up a certain point. Today a lot of attention is given to this fact of being cute, but today society is orientated to certain people that are open, open physically, having a good appearance and also mentally.
G. Maybe because of also TV programs like “Big Brother” that for me is totally a bad thing.
A. Obviously, it’s the today’s standard as every century has its standard. If you go back to the medieval times perhaps women were fatter, rounder. There was a different standard of appearance than there is today. But as I said before I think it’s true up to a certain point then you have to have something inside of you as cute people have as far as physical appearance is concerned. Internally you can be a cute person which means you’re open; you’re easy to be with others, to understand them, and this is the kind of charisma that gives the example to have a chance: it is the only base that you can have in an immediate approach that it is superficial in your appearance.
G. Yes yes. This article underlines the difference between Americans and British people with this sentence that I will read : “If cuteness fills Ameri-hearts with optimism, so does coziness arouse self-esteem in Brits.”
Can you explain this subject better than me? I mean, the article focuses on the idea that: “Brits see themselves as well-behaved people, honorable, fair minded and moderate”. Could you add anything?
A. Well, I’m not a Brit and I am not an American, I’m an Australian, and as I see it … okay … English people are very conservative so they are very careful about the fair, about the impact ... queuing up and things like that. The Americans as I see them as being wild, wild not to be offensive, but they are wild because they had to conquer the territory in their space, they have to make plans. So instead, for my point of view as Australian: Australians are like free, free is different from being wild or being conservative and we also give the idea of being cute like the Americans, more like the Americans than the Brits but we take a bit from each as Brits we use it to say that it is fair and at the same time as Americans to say that something is pretty not in the way that we like looking at.
G. So, don’t you use the word cute like Americans? Do you use that word less or more?
A. Uhm. Let’s say a bit less than Americans, a bit less … well … I don’t know, in general we are more moderate, we’re in between them as I said before ... and we take a bit from both sides but we are in between.
G. Okay.. Thank you a lot for your interview. It was a pleasure for me doing it. Thank you.
A. Thank you for have listened to me and you’re welcome, no problem!
Interviewer : Gabriella
Interviewee : Biorn
G. Okay Biorn, at the University I had to interview other students like me about an event that we experienced personally. But the last interview that we had to do is about “The importance of being cute”.
I read an article about this subject too: it said that American people use a lot the word “cute” also to describe a new hairstyle or a cake or newborn babies and of course to give the idea of something or someone that is appealing, tender, beautiful, charismatic. And I remember that I had also a flat mate that she is ... she comes from Washington that she always used the word “cute” and I think that it is quite an exaggeration. But in the article there is ... there was a sentence that made me reflect. I’m reading the same words of the article, it said: “And if you’re cute enough you can have anything”. This sentence … well I have already interviewed an Australian woman about this subject and she explained to me that nowadays the appearance is so important even if it is not everything because, if you want to be successful you cannot be beautiful but stupid, and I totally agree with this idea. So the cuteness-factor is quite relevant and she added that Australian people use the word “cute” less than Americans but more than Brits.
And you, Biorn, being Danish could you explain to me how you use the word “cute” ?
B. Well, in Denmark since we are child we are used to see ... watch movies in original language and most of them are of course American movies. In fact if you go to the cinema often you can see the film in the original language with local subtitles. (Most movies come from America), so we often listen to the American language and American accent, for this reason we use quite often the word “cute” but maybe fewer than Americans. When I was a child my parents, even if they have Italian roots, sent me in an English school, so for this reason I do speak English, Danish and Italian.
G. Okay, by considering that in Denmark there are a lot of beautiful girls, and I think that in your country the beauty is a “must”. I mean it seems that Danish girls want to appear always perfect or so it seems.
What do you think about the “cuteness-factor” in general and in particular in your country too?
B. Well, nowadays being cute is more or less a “must”. In fact, if you are cute enough you can have more chances than an ugly person. I want to add that like the Americans, we use “cute” also to describe someone or something that is appealing or charismatic. But I have to say that the cuteness-factor in Denmark is quite relevant: in fact, girls start using make up or dressing up since they are little. I think we have a different mentality because in Denmark the cuteness-factor can often became a business. For example in my country there are a lot of models who start their career at the tender age of 14 years. By having Italian parents I can see the different approach to the body that Danish people and the Italians have: in fact there, it is quite normal that a woman of forty years is a very thin and beautiful lady, while in Italy the majority of women of that age don’t take care of themselves as Danish people do, as Danish women do. To conclude I want to tell that I don’t like the idea that the cuteness-factor is such an important thing but it is one of the most important. It is one of the important characteristics that a person should have!
G. Thank you Biorn, for your interview. You have satisfied my curiosity about the Danish mentality, about cuteness because I think that Denmark is the “beauty-country”. Well, I don’t know how to say it.
B. Thank you Gabriella, thank you!