Thursday, June 15, 2006

Cute versus pretty

Tim, Chi, and I met up on Sunday to finalize the plan for Yellowstone. I reviewed the lodging plans and walked them through my thinking on our rough itinerary. I miss planning trips. The last few years, I've had a general idea of what I was doing on my vacations but left a lot up to other people with whom I traveled.

The last time I planned out an entire trip in detail was when I took my cousin to France. I had all the details planned out train schedules, hotels, tickets. I also outlined a list of things we could do each day with an estimate of how many hours each activity might last. My cousin and her dad joked that I had the vacation planned down to the hour. It's not true, I know not to be *that* rigid. I just wanted to make sure I was realistic about options each day. I also learned from missing out in the past because I forgot that a museum was closed on a Tuesday.

Anyhow, later that day, I asked Tim for his impressions of Chi. He's heard of her for the past couple months. I was curious to hear his opinion.

"So what do you think of Chi?"

"Yeah, she's nice."

"Do you think she's pretty?"

"Yeah, she's pretty, not particularly pretty or anything."

"But, I mean, she's more attractive than say me or Sh, right?" (And no, I wasn't trying to put him in an awkward situation. I was honestly curious.)

"Well, you and Sh I'd say are cute... . Everyone has their preferences."

"So you wouldn't necessarily always go for the pretty girl?"

"It depends... ."

I thought that was a very interesting distinction. I wasn't at all surprised by Tim's comment. I would never label myself as pretty or beautiful, but I could envision cute.

So what is cute and what is pretty? Maybe it's something about the amount of cheek or forehead surface area. There's definitely an element of personality involved. In my mind, I would define a cute girl as someone who probably has a more rounded face or kid-like. A pretty girl tends to have an oval or elongated face. This is my oversimplified way to describe how I picture the two groups. The other stratification could simply be level of attractiveness - cute, pretty, beautiful (does handsome fit in here somewhere?).

As I sorted through the women I know, I could easily categorize most of my friends as cute or pretty. Most fell clearly into one category over the other, though a couple people I had a tough time labeling as I could see them being either depending on who you ask. In the end, beauty is in the eye of the beholder right?

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