Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Cute Kids vs. Creepy Adults

Source  (Yes it's Marilyn Manson, what of it?)

Ok, say you're walking down the street, in all your Gothy glory, when a random child exclaims over your appearance and stares avidly at you. Cute, right? Now picture an adult staring avidly at you in the same way. Kind of makes your skin crawl, doesn't it?

Case in point; my Sam and I were in Walmart getting some groceries when this little girl stares tapping her brother franticly on the shoulder and staring at us with this awe-stuck look on her face. I though this was indescribably cute. On the other hand, when the mom noticed what the kids were looking at, she goes "oh my God" and....stares. Quite a different stare than the kids.

Why is it that when kids do this, it's cute, but when adults do it, it's just plain creepy.

I think it has something to do with our perception of what is going on in either the kid or the adult's mind. Usually, kids are more open to the strange and unusual than adults are, so we see their reaction as being innocently curious (I say usually, because I have had a couple of instances where the kid spat more venom than I thought was possible for their age, so I know it is possible that not all kids are like that). However, most adults are not as forgiving of weirdness, so their stares have more of a negative connotation. I'm not saying this is true of all adults, just the ones who stare in a creepy way. 

What do you guys think? Have you run into this phenomenon, and what are your thoughts on it? 


  1. Kids are inexperienced and therefore, are almost expected to stare at something they don't understand. Adults, on the other hand, should know better. Their reaction comes across as creepy because IMO, they may be trying to intimidate on some subliminal level.

    Although I get stared at by kids from time to time, it doesn't happen much with the adults. Yes, I live in the South but fortunately, my small city is pretty open minded. There is a thriving alternative community here, so even the closed minded are used to seeing a variety of people from different persuasions.

    Once in a while, I run into gothy types at Walmart. Usually, we pass one another with a smile and one or the other will offer a "nice shirt" or "nice hat" type comment.

    1. I think kids are attracted to things that are unusual to them, before they're taught that they are bad. I don't know how often this happens to other people, or if I'm the only one who finds the kids cute, but I had one experience in Florida when Sam and I were on our honeymoon that was nothing short of adorable; this little girl told her mom that I was a "superwoman" and followed me all around the store we were in.

    2. I can see how you find it cute. I think you're right though, kids are attracted to the unusual. It's just too bad that their fascinations are often socialized out of them.

      A superwoman eh? Sam is a lucky man indeed!

    3. I love the idea of smiling or nodding, at other odd looking people. Freak solidarity :P

  2. Sometimes when I am in my frilly or Victorian outfits I get smiles from kids. Old people, sometimes, too, and definitely people my own age. Not so much middle-aged women, sorry, but they seem to dislike me even when I am dressed normal. not sure exactly why.

    I think it's cool when kid's like people being different, and hopefully their parents will encourage that.