Why do we love cute things so much? Humans have been wondering this since twee little cave drawings were being scratched by Cray-Pas into the walls of teensy caves by precocious tots, and the thing is, scientifically or otherwise, we're predisposed to love that which we consider adorable. Adorable is usually little. Chubby. Sad-faced. Big-eyed. Sweet. Helpless. Mewing. Tinny of tenor. Short of limb. The opposite of vicious—is there anything more horrifying than an allegedly cute creature that turns mean? And deeply in need of love and also able to give it (or so we assume, because of all those other things).
Maybe this cute obsession we have is to ensure the future of the species (we love babies so we will fight to protect them!); maybe it's, as writers have posited, in our very DNA. Maybe it's also just because cute is so damn cute. But there's growing appreciation for a certain kind of cute that merits our attention. This is the anti-cute, cute primarily in how objectively ugly it is. The most recent example of such is the Brooklyn Aquarium's newly expected baby walrus. By God that thing is cute, in aggregate. Round and plump and sweet and helpless—an orphan, for goodness sake—so cute it may well travel with its wee bibsy-bobsy little head in his handler's lap to get to the aquarium Thursday, per Lisa Foderardo, covering all the cuteness for the New York Times.