Baby Schema: The Fuzzy Squeeze

February 1, 2014
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I’ve never really aspired to pop out one of those crusty, red-faced, screaming things that other people lovingly refer to as a child, but I have noticed a few strange comments coming out of my mouth lately. It pains me to admit this but they’ve been comments that could be construed as… clucky (or broody depending on your hemisphere)…

The dreaded C word! Not cunt or cancer. No, much worse than both of those put together. You heard it here first; admitting that you’re clucky these days is more frowned upon than uttering the words “cunt cancer”. It gives the listener the impression that you a controlling old bitch with a firm eye on her biological clock, conspiring to rob unsuspecting victims of their bachelorhood.

Baby Schema: The Fuzzy Squeeze

For me this couldn’t be further from the truth but as I prepare to farewell my 20’s, cute little bundles of under-developed organs are having strange affects on me.  Only, the cute little bundles I’m referring to have four legs.

Just yesterday while looking at a photo of a friends new puppy I came out with; “oh my god, get inside my mouth!” with tears welling in my eyes. Needless to say, I’ve not yet been granted visiting rights…

The wallpaper that adorns the screen of the very laptop I’m writing on isn’t your typical, shirtless Ryan Gosling, or a shirtless Dita Von Teese – both of which it has been in the past. It’s an innocent little lamb. I suppose without time enough to grow substantial fleece, he could be considered shirtless too…

When I’m lying in bed instead of counting sheep I’m just creepily staring at pictures of them and letting them swoon me, with their fluffy, miniature, torsos and blinky lashes. Again, this urge to crush them with affection takes hold – “You’re so cute I want to rip your legs off!”

“Baby Schema” is the concept proposed by Konrad Lorenz, describing our natural attraction towards things with big heads, round eyes and chubby cheeks and it does in fact pass on to our four legged friends. It’s our inbuilt attraction towards these characteristics that stopped us from simply eating our young as soon as they popped out, back when food was scarce and we actually had to work for it.

Given that, I’ll never understand two things. Firstly, how the inherent cuteness of a lamb or calf was brushed aside and the two have evolved into undisputed dinner ingredients in most parts of the world. Secondly, with their cherub-like characteristics, why is it that the likes of Chris Farley and Danny Devito don’t seem to stir up the same emotions in me?

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