This led me to do a little research on park mascots. Turns out some people have a real fear of them. On unusualphobias.com, I found several interesting comments:
...People dressed as big characters or animals are just really freaky. I have thought that they were since I was little, and I'm not really sure why. If I see one I get all scared and just try not to look at them, but I still know they're there and it's horrible. I'm 15 now and it was so embarrasing on the school trip to Disneyland, because I couldn't tell anybody and I insisted that we took the longer routes around to avoid those creepy things! It's their faces, they're so scary! And they don't speak either, that's creepy too.Here's another comment on the same forum:
All of this makes me wonder if something that's bigger than yourself goes against the essence of being cute. Check out this article on Ars Technica about scientists studying why some things are considered cute. Basically, it boils down to our evolutionary love of babies. If something resembles a baby in any way, we are programmed to think of it as cute:I have many phobias, but the most prevalent is my fear of costumed characters. You know, like Chuck E. Cheese. To me, going to Disney World is like going to hell.
The Park Mascot in Pet Society has a friendly face, but it's too large and imposing. It doesn't fit these definitions of cute. I think if it were smaller than my pet, it would have a much better chance at being cute. What do you think?Scientists who study the evolution of visual signaling have identified a wide and still expanding assortment of features and behaviors that make something look cute: bright forward-facing eyes set low on a big round face, a pair of big round ears, floppy limbs and a side-to-side, teeter-totter gait, among many others.
Cute cues are those that indicate extreme youth, vulnerability, harmlessness and need.
This article originally appeared on Pet Society Anonymous.