When ‘Cute’ is NOT ‘Cute’

“‘Cute’ is a popular term to use when speaking of children, but also in speaking of young women (teens and twenties especially). The term, ‘cute,’ is defined in Webster’s New World Dictionary as ‘pretty or attractive, esp. in a lively, wholesome or dainty way.’ A young child is often spoken of as cute because of his or her facial features and hair. A child may also be called ‘cute’ because of the clothes worn – the ‘cute’ styling of the clothes, perhaps making the little guy look like a grown man, or the little girl like a princess.

So should you, as a teen or adult woman, really desire to look ‘cute?’ Maybe ‘pretty’ would be more suitable for those older than young children. Now consider a twenty-something young woman trying on clothes in a department store. When a store clerk, or a good friend accompanying her, tells her she looks ‘cute’ in the jeans and top, or pants suit, or dress, etc., that she is trying on…is ‘cute’ really the right term? ‘Cute’ sounds very wholesome and makes us think of the ‘cuteness’ of a small child. Do the observers mean that the young woman looks like a cute child? Not exactly.

When someone says you look ‘cute’ in something, it may be helpful to ask (yourself or them) just WHAT looks cute – what about the clothes or what part of you. If what looks ‘cute’ is a particular part of your anatomy and the way the clothes fit there, I’d venture to say that ‘cute’ is NOT the right term. It may be the more comfortable term to hear, but the more accurate descriptors might be ‘attractive,’ ‘shapely,’ and ‘sexy.’

Do you look good? Assuming they are being truthful, yes! But in what WAY do you look good and to WHOM? Often the truth is that you look ‘attractive,’ and mostly to the opposite sex. And what makes you look attractive? Often it is your shapeliness and how well and attractively it is revealed. Let’s be honest – you look sexy – inviting men to sex. Now looking sexy can be entirely appropriate when the only man looking upon you is your husband. But just where is it you were planning to wear this?

Now I suppose there are some outfits that make a grown woman look more like a pretty little girl without calling particular attention to her womanly figure – in this case maybe you do look ‘cute’ in the normal sense. I’d say this was the exception rather than the rule.

What’s wrong with looking attractive? Shouldn’t an unmarried young lady want to look attractive to young men – certainly she wouldn’t want to look unattractive! It’s all a question of attractive in what way. A shapely figure or bare skin prominently displayed is not the only thing that attracts. You may also attract by means of your face and hair, or more importantly by your ‘gentle and quiet spirit’ (1 Pet 3:4) and your ‘good works,’ while dressing modestly and discreetly (1 Tim 2:10). You can attract the right kind of young men by your smile, your eyes, the modesty and femininity of your dress, by your sweetness, kindness, good manners, humility, discretion in speech, honor shown to your parents, ect.

If you merely want to attract any warm blooded male for a sexual encounter, then revealing clothing will do the job nicely. But if you want to attract a godly young man with a purpose of marriage…other attractions than revealing clothing are more effective. Revealing clothing attracts all and with ungodly purposes in mind. The more godly young men will try to resist such attraction and look elsewhere for good wives. The ungodly will beat a path to your doorway.

Now the Bible does not say you should try to look bad. It is one thing to not flaunt your good looks. It is quite another to choose to dress and present yourself in a way that emphasizes your worst features or makes them appear much worse than they are! Sadly, some young women mindlessly follow fashion without regard for how the fashion looks on them. What may look very sexy on a young woman with the ‘right’ figure, may look very distasteful on another woman differently shaped.

Seek to APPEAR as you truly are. And seek to truly BE what you should be, to please God. Attract by what you are on the inside. Let your outside reflect your inside. If your ‘inside’ isn’t very attractive, then that is where your concerns should be focused – bringing your life more under God’s control and letting Him transform you on the inside. Allow God to transform your character, and then reflect your character in your outward appearance.

Let your manner of dress and presentation reflect godliness, modesty, virture, and purity. And of course your clothing and presentation may also reflect your personality and interests – that is more of who you really are. You may be very frilly and feminine in your clothing tastes, or perhaps you are very imaginative and creative, or more practical and focused on simple clothing that is well suited for your activities. Yet in all things, for the sake of your Christian witness, you should avoid an appearance that might seem too extreme, too showy, too sloppy, or immodest. Moderation is a good word to remember with clothing, jewelry, makeup and hairstyle.

When choosing clothing to purchase or make, or when simply choosing what to wear for the day, DO consider how you look. Be careful about assessments of ‘cute’ or even ‘good.’ Take just a moment to ask exactly WHAT looks ‘cute’ or ‘good’ and why. Don’t fool yourself! Be sure ‘cute’ or ‘good’ is really the right word. If the clothing truly looks sexually attractive, recognize and admit it for what it is. Then make a godly decision about whether it is appropriate for the person and the setting.

So beware of being told you (as a teen or grown woman) look ‘cute.’ Other women are particularly prone to use this term. It often means you are showing off your body in a way that will draw men’s thoughts to something other than ‘cuteness.'”

– David Crank from Unless the Lord…magazine

So…who are you dressing for, the Lord or young guys? If the Lord were to stand before you today at this moment, would He approve of what you are wearing?


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