Are Your Kids Cute?

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          Are your children attractive? Yes, we did it. We just asked you to really look at your child and assess their relative beauty. Oh sure, mommy and daddy think that junior is a stud even though one eye is a full two inches lower than the other. And despite little Susie’s tooth that is growing through her upper lip, she is very pretty. So take a moment of this fine Tuesday and look at your kids with an objective observer’s eye.

          Paul says: Our kids are cute, especially the four-year-old. He has a TV star quality about him. That is the good news for us. The bad news is that, at the innocent age of four, he already knows it. Oh, I forgot to put the quotes around the word “innocent”. My boy has our number. He knows that he is charming and that he can use a combo of cute and funny to get out of almost anything. Compared to our other children, he curses more, is more of a handful, and generally oozes a King Henry-like aura about him that states quite clearly, ‘I can do what I like’. He is a typical attractive child.

          Some of you out there are reading this and getting an icky feeling. I know that I am as I write this. We do not like to think that we are so superficial that we would let one child get away with mischief where another could not just because the kid is better looking. Well, the truth is that we do it all of the time. Let me site a paper by Langlois, Kalakanis, Rubenstein, Larson, Hallam and Smoot (sounds like a law firm that I can’t afford) of the University of Texas at Austin. They looked at the common maxims of beauty and found that some of the things we hold true are not. We do judge a book by its cover. Without getting into the nitty-gritty of the study, the bottom line is that they took a bunch of kids and ‘judged’ them on skills. 75% of attractive children succeeded compared to 25% of unattractive children. The studies go on to show that attractive kids behave better then unattractive kids.

          Ok, this is some pretty f’ed up stuff, being that I do not think that I was an attractive kid. But all hope is not lost for those children out there who look like road kill come to life. What we consider to be attractive is not only how the face and body are proportioned but have a lot to do with intelligence. Other studies on attractiveness show that intelligence is about as attractive as physical appeal.  Smart, witty, and funny are all part of the attractiveness package and, in children, get them the same results.

          Have you watched the show Modern Family? One of the children in it is overweight and would not be considered classically attractive. Yet they have developed the child as charming in the extreme and, because of this, he is scarily attractive, almost seductive. Our seven year old is cute enough but nothing in comparison to his brother, yet he is the mayor of first grade. Everyone in his school knows him and greets him with high-five or handshakes. Girls pack his backpack for him to send him on his way home. He has that funny and charming thing going for him.

          Now if your kids are ugly and stupid…

          Lee says: This whole post is gross. However, more often than not, the truth is ugly. As humans, we are as shallow as can be. We are easily seduced with beauty and charm. As parents, we need to foster our child’s ability to relate to others so that if God short changed them on looks, they can charm their way into someone’s favor. We would like to believe that the popular people at school all wound up in some trailer park with a hump and hairy moles but we know the truth. The ugly truth is we fall for it all the time. Let’s make it work for our kids now no matter how ugly that sounds.

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