(Yet another work-discussion that inspired a post…)
Okay, so here’s a question I’ve long been pondering: what’s the difference between “cute” and “handsome”?
Here’s why I ask: I’ve never really been referred to as “handsome.” But I have, often, been referred to as “cute.” (We’re just going to ignore the “you’re not a model” statement, of course.)
So what’s the difference between the two?
I mean, which I hear the word “cute” I think of puppies and baby ducklings and the like; innocent, non-threatening balls of fluff, if you will. A teacup chiwawa, for example, is cute.
Handsome, on the other hand, well that makes one thing of a big, good-looking German Shepard in comparison to that chiwawa. Or a guy with a chiseled jaw and bulging pecs wearing a plaid shirt and standing on a mountain top with an axe slung over his shoulder.
Wait, doesn’t that guy sell paper towels too? Oh, yeah, the Brawny Man…
But I digress…
I have no doubt that both are considered to be compliments, but they don’t seem to be synonyms. In fact, I checked the thesaurus, and “cute” doesn’t come up as a synonym for “handsome”.
It’s hard not to think of it in the most basic of terms either: boys are “cute” whereas men are “handsome”. And women (well, at least most of the women I’ve ever known) are looking for “men” and not “boys” by the time they’re in the age of my dating pool.
None of this is to say that I’m bad looking by any means. I mean, hell, I’m no Brad Pitt, but I do okay. It does, however, make me wonder at times if there isn’t some… intangible quality that I’m missing. Something that would push me over the edge from “cute” to “handsome.”
So what’s the difference? What’s the meaning when one term is chosen over the other?