Blog Post #4: Old Things

What is the difference between studying objects to learn human stories and studying them to learn their own stories? Is there one? In “Recalling Things Forgotten” and “Parting Ways,” Deetz presents us with human histories that have been recovered through careful analyses of objects and building sites. To an extent, Prown, Czikszentmihalyi, and Belk, although they draw upon knowledge and methodologies from a wide variety of disciplines, nonetheless seem to approach their studies of material culture with a goal similar to Deetz’s.

As it begins, however, the essay, “A Terminal Condition: The Cathode Ray Tube’s Strange Afterlife,” by Josh Lepawsky and Charles Mather, seems to offer a different sort of teleology, or aim, for its analysis:

“Rust in peace,” ministered the New York Times in its 2009 catalogue of obsolescence for the aughts. The obvious play on words conjoins an industrial mythos with a Christian burial rite in a requiem for an object that had, not long before, been the primary screen on which many of us experienced television, video, and computing. What does it mean that we think of the CRT as something with a life—something that was born, lived, died?

In its title and with its three opening paragraphs, the essay promises to give us a history of the object itself. It provokes us with a question, about what it means to think of inanimate things as having a birth, a life, and afterlife. Yet, from that question, the essay seems to turn in the fourth paragraph quickly back to a relatively conventional history, not of the object, but of the people who created and used it, beginning with two 17th century intellectuals, Thomas Hobbes and Robert Boyle. After that turn, it’s not until the eleventh paragraph in the essay that we get a chunk of text organized almost entirely around exposition of non-human agency, alternating between copper and the CRT itself as the subject or actor of nearly every sentence. Continue reading Blog Post #4: Old Things

Blog Post #3: How To Live Forever

Death: It’s a Human Condition

Celebration TraditionLast night, I kept a tradition and sang, “Happy Birthday,” to an empty chair that should contain my would-be 7-year-old son. Following an emotional night, I subsequently attended the funeral of my son’s friend, a brave 7-year-old boy also taken too soon. Death and the reminder of mortality surrounded me as I prepared this blog post.

Everlasting Molds

U.S. Coins

Abraham Lincoln, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and even Beethoven from Luke A. Fidler’s essay, “Impressions From the Face of a Corpse,” have something in common: immortality. Although U.S. coins featuring dead presidents are not of human bone or flesh worthy for cabinets of curiosity, they could be collected if deemed rare. Additionally, Americans almost daily handle these inanimate objects, depicting the face of the deceased in the palm of their hands and exchange them freely, without a given thought.

Death masks, however, are vastly different than that of embedded faces on metal because they are “impressions from the face of a corpse.”  There are many myths mentioned in Fidler’s essay behind this popular ritual of the dead, dating back to Alexander the Great, “thanks to the assumption that it was a portrait par excellence.

Hand Molds Comparable to the three-dimensional molds taken of the face of a corpse, many bereaved parents cast their dead child’s hands or feet immediately proceeding death.

“Do This In Remembrance Of Me”

 The rituals I created to remember my spunky son are all done to help me cope; thus rituals and traditions are established by the living as a way to grieve our survival. Objects left behind by loved ones are cherished and to evoke memories not to be forgotten. Similar to Belk’s claim, “people seek to assure that their selves will extend beyond their deaths,” I seek to keep my son’s “self” alive through photographs, traditions, toys he left behind, his sister, myself, and, of course, the foundation established in his name.

Something neglected to be mentioned in Fidler’s essays is the belief that death masks were made as an object of reflection to remember a lost loved one. In contrast, when Christians manifested, they considered a corpse to be impure and therefore, rituals for the deceased did not occur until after the growth of the religion. The prominent ritual of Christians is that of Holy Communion (Also known as The Eucharist or transubstantiation) whereby the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ is symbolically ingested.

Eat His Death

 As you’re waiting for this food, you may hear a voice saying, “Don’t look now, but you’re in this thing pretty deep. You could end up as a corpse, as dead as Jesus.”

Hence, this is where the controversy lies among many and question if the elements of bread and wine indeed “miraculously change” to the Body and Blood of Christ.  Through transubstantiation, a supernatural form of Endocannibalism, Christ lives forever.

In comparison of the Christian’s ritual, eating death is taken literally in other cultures. For instance, in the British-Isles, bread is placed on top of the deceased for a period of time and then consumed by a “sin-eater” for an insulting “fee of sixpence.” It is believed that in doing this, the sins of the deceased would be passed to the bread from the corpse, which would ultimately destroy those sins by ingestion.

Painful Sorrow

The emotions of mourning the loss of a loved one can be described as painful but for the Dani Tribe from Papua, Indonesia, it is also a physical pain. Tribe members would cut off the tips of their fingers “as a way of displaying their grief at funeral ceremonies [and] symbolizing the suffering and pain due to the loss of a loved one.” This could also function as continuous reminder of the loved one lost (as if the devastation from the loss itself isn’t enough). Thankfully, this ritual is no longer practiced.

“Ashes to Ashes”

By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” ~Genesis 3:19

Trinket of Ashes My son was cremated and I have a locket that holds some of his ashes. Many view this trinket as morbid and/or eerie. To me, however, this is a manner to keep him constantly with me. And his foundation is, hopefully, the way he will live forever.  Ensuring his memory will go on is a vital comfort as my life on Earth continues.


After reading Russell Belk article “Possession and Extended self”. There are several points I take away from it. However, if I understand correctly, Belk is making the connection with the relationship between humans, and their connection to possessions. Also, Belk states “Extended self is not limited to external object, but also includes Person, place, body parts and vital organs.” I can clearly relate to his point about the extension of possessions. Humans consider their children, spouse, and family and close friends their own property. The article makes a great connection from birth. This is seen as a mastery of possessions and human development. For example, according to Freudian and other psycho-analytic theories, infants begin life being unable to distinguish self from environment, including mothers. As infant develop their motor skills objects that can be controlled are seen as self. However, the objects that can’t be controlled are seen as environment. This explains the origin of this development. Possession helps people manage their identity. Also, helping old people have a sense of continuity. Contamination is a particular process of self -extension. It can be good or bad, as discussed in class we can be contaminated in different way. For example, we can become contaminated through association with an individual.
In the articles “The Culture of Death and the Afterlife” I notice different cultures have unique ways of approaching death. It appears like death is welcoming, the term “Memento Mori” translates to remember that you are mortal, death is anticipated. For Christian this term serves a moralizing purpose. For Christians, it reminds them of emptiness, personally for me death makes me feel lost. This approach of death is unusual, which brings me to Luke A. Filder essay “impression from face of corpse”. In this essay he discusses the way students and other artist created craft and images from dead people. In the essay different artist felt different, and went back and forth on weather, mask made from dead people or sculpted images give a better description of the person their portraying. The idea is that, Death mask made from dead people gives a sense of realness. However, others artist and historian’s feel the complete opposite. The argument made is that “you can see the traces of death and material facts of plaster in each faces. The idea is when people die rigor mortis has set in. Other might see death mask to be used as a memorial and surviving relative might choose to hold on to these lasting memories.
I found this interesting article and attached it for you to read, one of many reasons why one might want to hold on to death mask.

Blog Post 3: Death Then and Death Now

From the moment I was able to understand the term ‘death’ up to now, I was always appalled and frightened every time I just heard the word. The cause of me to react like that is probably the death of my grandmother when I was six years old. My grandmother and I always had a special relationship. Maybe it was because I was the oldest son of her youngest son, or maybe it was because she knew how long she would be with us in this world. Who knows? All I know is that although I was only six years old, I knew what was going on when I was at her funeral with my parents and other family members. My beloved grandmother was no longer with us. Of course there were many more funerals I had to attend in the past several years, but I’m sure the death of my grandmother left me the trauma I still have today, or I should say the trauma I used to have.

After reading Fidler’s Impressions From the Face of a Corpse, I learned a few positive things about death to help overcome my fear. In his essay, Fidler asserts that “the death mask is something between a creepy portrait and a contact relic,” that “it’s an uncanny object, one that spurs us to reconsider the matter of portraiture and commemoration. To ask why or how a death mask works is to probe a maelstrom that makes mock of sure footing. But what if the thing that makes a death mask tick is not the resemblance to someone long-dead, but rather the visual noise, static, and imperfections that halt that resemblance in its tracks?”

Even to this point, I didn’t have a complete understanding of what the quote meant. However, after reading that “phrenologists sought them out as teaching tools, and taught students to read worlds into the bumps and grooves of cheekbones and foreheads,” and “artists incorporated death masks into commemorative busts, such as that made of Napoleon I by Francois Carlo Antommarchi,” along with what was revealed within Napoleon’s and Beethoven’s masks in the following paragraphs, I had a better understanding. Not only was I fascinated at the fact that we humans have advanced so much in coming up with these theories and ideas, and even went beyond science in order to learn more about the kind of people who are long-dead are, but also had a better understanding of the different perspectives from different societies, and the different purposes of the masks. I learned that death masks aren’t just commemorative items, nor are they unwanted reminders of grotesque things that we don’t want to remember, but they are some kind of portal that leads us to a better understanding, a clearer knowledge of the person, who the mask belongs to.

Blog Post 3: Different interpretations of death in different parts of the world


According to the definition in the online Britannica Encyclopedia, a “death mask” is “wax or plaster cast of a mold taken from the face of a dead individual.” But the interesting part is that, according to this source, “death masks are true portraits, although changes are occasionally made in the eyes of the mask to make it appear as though the subject were alive.” This detail is interesting as it reminds me of Fidler’s article, especially when the author states that a death mask will always be dead, as that this sense of vacuity or passivity is a fundamental feature of such creations. As Fidler claims, “there’s an inertness that accretes to a body, a slowing of the blood and then a swelling as that same blood pools.” Therefore, these benevolent corrections may be made with the intent of reviving the traits of the deceased one last time, and persuading the viewers to think that the separation between life and death is not so sharp, and that the mask they are looking at is not an aberrant creation that evokes death and annihilation.

This concept implies the fact that death masks have a negative connotation, and that talking about death in general is harbinger of doom. In Japan, indeed, “open and public discussion of death remains one of the greatest societal taboos,” and although some believe that death is a way to remember the preciousness of life, most people believe that death should not be a discussion topic, especially in presence of children (Sagara-Rosemary and Davies, 223). More specifically, “the negative view of death is so deeply embedded in Japanese society that even professionally trained personnel tend to think that the mention of death could hurt and shock children” (Sagara-Rosemary and Davies, 224).

However, death may be a source of attraction as well as repulsion. When public enemy number one John Dillinger was shot by the police in 1934, a crowd of onlookers gathered around the body to take a look at the famous fugitive, regardless of the fact that they were actually staring at a corpse on the street. In this case, death represents something fascinating, intriguing, and almost seductive, to the point that two groups of medical students made a death mask of the famous criminal from a plaster mold. “The mask captured every detail of Dillinger’s face — the bullet wound, the scrapes from where he had hit the pavement, the bloating and swelling from the heat and pooling blood, and even the tell-tale signs of underground plastic surgery.” John Dillinger’s death was such a source of wonder that the two masks were taken without appropriate authorization. His story makes us understand how controversial is the idea of death, and how this dynamic process is addressed and sometimes even celebrated differently in various parts of the world.

For instance, there is a tradition called “Sky Burials” in which the recently deceased are used to feed wild animals. According to the Tibetan Buddhists, this practice reflects the fact that the human body is simply “an empty vessel,” so there is no need to commemorate it. The Buddhists also see this ritual as a final glorious act: in fact, the remains will sustain the life of other creatures. Another interesting way to see death, and in particular the death of a powerful person, is to be found in the body of cultural traditions of Nigeria. In the play “Death and the King’s Horseman,” death becomes a sacred duty, which the protagonist cannot escape. Indeed, according to the Yoruba tradition, “the death of a chief must be followed by the ritual suicide of the chief’s horseman, because the horseman’s spirit is essential to helping the chief’s spirit ascend to the afterlife.” If the horseman does not complete the ritual, the king’s spirit will wander on earth and hunt the living.

In conclusion, death masks can signify so many things, and can be interpreted in many ways, because death itself has numerous interpretations, and that makes impossible to give death a clear connotation.


Blog Post #3: Death, Captivating and Frightening

Before reading Luke Fiddler’s Impressions From the Face of a Corpse, I remained ignorant to the existence of ‘death masks.’ Never had this concept of capturing the face of a deceased one last time before the final good-bye ever occurred to me. Yet immediately I understood why people continue (for centuries!) to capture these unique faces of the deceased. In the second paragraph, I believe Fiddler touches on the reason why these faces are so captivating and enthralling

“ To ask why or how a death mask works is to probe a maelstrom that makes mock of sure footing. But what if the thing that makes a death mask tick is not the resemblance to someone long-dead, but rather the visual noise, static, and imperfections that halt that resemblance in its tracks?”

I understand that unexplainable, intriguing, almost-absorbing feeling one feels when looking into the face of the deceased. My entire childhood, both of my parents worked as Executive Directors for Assisted Living Homes. Though they love their occupations, both claim the one of the most unfortunate aspect remains the passing of residents, especially when they were close with them, (essentially the whole building). So naturally we attended many funerals.With many of the funerals holding open caskets, from a young age, these deceased faces enthralled me. TO this day they remain slightly frightening ,yet I can’t stop studying their final facial features.

Despite the fact an Open Casket viewing differs from a death mask, one cannot deny the comparison of the phenomena Fiddler discusses of how we cannot stop from staring at all the little imperfections. He mentions a popular notion that “in death, our bodies become honest.” I found this interesting because as I recall staring the person never looked the same as in life (I understand now a body is manipulated for an open casket). How bodies remained so perfect and still, makes me associate death with a feeling of ease, peace and comfort. Yet as a child interacting with residents, the imperfections on the elderly are clearly noticed, which made me nervous and slighly frightened when around them; worn, leathery hands, blue veins clearly visible, faces covered in wrinkles and scars from life.

I believe this manipulation of death in our society and how others capture death through ‘death masks represent how different cultures and societies deal with the unknown of death. Though the stillness of the bodies and the awareness the deceased is no longer living, I could never stop from staring at that serene person laying in that casket. As we grow and become more open-minded throughout history, people realize death may not turn out to what its described as in their religion or personal ideology. Though all cultures and societies possess different practices for their dead, their process reflect their attitudes and beliefs about the afterlife. This fear and acknowledgement of the unknown forces us to do the only thing possible to ease that feelings of fear, anxiety from uncertainty; comfort each other. As Aristotle teaches us through his artistic proof of ethos one must build credibility with their audience. I believe that is the purpose of these death masks or even open caskets. Viewing the face of the deceased with their face remaining the same integrity, or even being moulded and casted different to particular taste, or having an open casket displaying the deceased almost happy, builds the best credibility through personal first-hand accounts of the people one admired, respected and loved.

Blog Post #3: Dead Things

What can we learn from the way a culture deals with death, particularly how they handle dead human remains? As Belk explains in “Posessions and the Extended Self,” in modern Western cultures, bodies–and their associated smells and effusions–are associated with negative forms of contamination. This aversion to contact with someone else’s body, Belk argues, is expressed in the way crematoria sift through human “cremains” to remove any traces that retain too much of their original form as bones, teeth, etc. Yet, again as Belk explains, the aversion to bodies, especially dead bodies, has numerous cultural and historical exceptions. These exceptions include actual and symbolic cannibalism, the collection and reverence of saintly relics, and as Luke A. Fidler describes in his essay, “Impressions From the Face of a Corpse,” the practice of creating memento mori of the dead:

Death masks also record the work of human hands. They figure the body as something subject to post-mortem manipulation, as a kind of storehouse waiting to be raided by curious scientists, churchmen, or souvenir-seekers. Autopsies, for instance, left their marks. Beethoven’s death mask, taken two days after he died, shows the saw marks where the composer’s ear bones were removed. His left ear later wound up in a curiosity cabinet. Continue reading Blog Post #3: Dead Things


Beatrice Marovich, a writer and academic ( presents the topic of cuteness in relation to animals in her essay in The Atlantic (Moravich) to propose a perspective on how humans have given “cuteness” to an animal and how the cute animal in return serves the human. In her essay, Maravich, provides the example of the cuteness of cats. Cats have been deemed cute by humans and also by humans through created figures such as Hello Kitty. The essay also provides an insight of how these cats have gained their “cuteness” by history. Because of cats becoming saviors to silk economics in the 17th century in Japan (by eliminating the cats that ate the silk worms that made silk), cats became a good luck charm. In the case of Hello Kitty, Marovich suggests that it’s vacant look gives humans the opportunity to fill that vacancy with themselves through the cuteness of the expressionless Kitty. A very interesting point that Marovich ties in toward the end of her essay is how cats, who have been deemed cute, have become something that people pay for, just to spend time with them. Unfortunately, Marovich doesn’t delve into the psychological questions about this but the skeptical observant question that lingers is: What does this endowment of cuteness do or affect?

Something that pop’s out in Marovich’s essay is the word vacancy. The eyes of the cute cat seem vacant and almost beckoning for someone to live through it. When something is “cute” it is: appealing, mentally keen, attractive ( The opposite of “cute” is”: ugly, unhappy, unpleasant ( This suggests that something “cute” is something that makes one feel better or seems to beckon one in a strange but delightful manner. For example, carrying around a small dog that matches one’s outfit is cute, because it makes the human feel that the cute little animal needs them and they empower the animal with the “pop” that their outfit or person needs. The most interesting part of cuteness is the way in which it works or the cycle which it forms.

When a human seems something “cute”, the human perceives that “thing” as an object that needs something, it contains a void that can potentially be filled — attention and care from the human. Giving this “cute little thing” that attention makes the human feel wanted or needed and/or giving, generous, compassionate, human, loving, etc. In return, the “cute little thing” provides the human credit for what they’ve done, and provides the human satisfactions in one or a variety of areas. These areas might encompass a human’s character, fashion style, compassion, “religiousness” or anything in relation to the expression of that human. As this occurs the “cute little thing” is given power, a power to enhance (or un-enhance) a human’s identity in one way or another. Although this “cute little thing” is bestowed power, the “cute little thing” becomes objectified (even if it is a living thing). When something becomes objectified it can be made, it is not one of a kind, it can be replaced; thus, a cute little accessory Chihuahua dog can be replaced by a cute little Affenpinscher at any given moment. Through these examples, Marovich clearly explains a perspective on cuteness and how it tends to objectify which is only scratches the surface of that definition.


Works Cited

“About – Beatrice Marovich.” Beatrice Marovich. Web. 5 Sept. 2014. <>.

Marovich, Beatrice. “The Powerful Authority of Cute Animals.” The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 14 May 2014. Web. 5 Sept. 2014.

“cuteness.” The Dictionary of American Slang. 05 Sep. 2014. <>.

“cute.” Roget’s 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition. Philip Lief Group 2009. 05 Sep. 2014. <>.



Cuteness: An Internet and Cultural Remora

The appeal of cuteness is ubiquitous.  Derek Willis calls cat pictures “the essential building block of the internet.”  Cuteness is that inescapable quality that makes adults turn into silly, blubbering rubberneckers of babies with villainous eyebrows drawn on, tiny elephants, memes with baby hippopotami, and the infamous Lil Bub.

In “The Powerful Authority of Cute Animals”, Beatrice Marovich, argues that talismanic objects, both living and inanimate, “confer a kind of expedient magic that humans can use for their individual or collective benefit.”  Marovich elucidates many cultural phenomena that stem from our penchant for cute things; I want to focus on the concept that cuteness is an inherent quality in nature and the physiological response that we innately encounter when presented with cuteness.

That benefit Marovich describes ties in well with the research from Kringelbach and Stein of Oxford University, which suggests an evolutionary reason for our being drawn toward cuteness: preservation of our own species.

A 2008 study of human brain waves when confronted with “cute” images of human babies provoked an identical response with parents, and non-parents; study of frontal-lobe brain activity suggests that there is a response to this “cuteness” that is unique to the images of babies– images of adults provoked no such response. They suggest that this is a Darwinian evolutionary mechanism wherein adults feel responsible for the care of young.

Not only do adults seem to be hardwired towards a psychic response to cuteness, but also, according to research published in Psychology Frontier Journal in July, 2014, children as young as 3 have the ability to perceive cuteness.  So adults and children both have an innate mechanism that senses inherent cuteness.

So where does cuteness and our study of objects intersect?  The ability of toddlers to perceive cuteness leads to the concept that cuteness is not something culturally manufactured, but a quality inherent in nature.  The dilemma comes with the human invention of synthetic cuteness.

Made-made versions of cuteness transform an abstract quality into anobject, the subject of our ongoing discussion as it pertains to material culture.

Once cuteness crosses the objectified threshold from abstract quality to manufactured experience, we face a new dilemma, in that we may have trouble ever returning to the concept of abstraction.  In the face of technology, the line between inherent and manufactured cuteness all but disappears: the natural cuteness of a kitten or a baby becomes objectified as a video taken on a smartphone and uploaded to America’s Funniest Videos, and no longer merely “exists” in a passive sense, but exists now dually as an object and a quality.

So whether it’s in our DNA to appreciate cuteness or that we’re living in an environment where cuteness is a marketing ploy, the undeniable reality of the situation is that we’re inundated with this object and this abstraction.


Works Cited

Borgi, M., Cogliati-Dezza, I., Brelsford, V., Meints, K., Cirulli, F.: Baby schema in human and animal faces induces cuteness perception and gaze allocation in children: Frontiers in Psychology 5:411. DOI 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00411

“Identifying The Cuteness Response?.” Psychologist 21.5 (2008): 372-373. Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection. Web. 5 Sept. 2014.

Marovich, Beatrice. The Powerful Authority of Cute Animals.  The Atlantic. 14 May 2014. 05 September 2014. Web.

University of Lincoln. “Children as young as three recognize ‘cuteness’ in faces of people, animals.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 July 2014.<>.

Willis, Derek.  What the Internet Can See From Your Cat Pictures. The Upshot, The New York Times.  22 July 2014. 05 September 2014. Web.

The science of cuteness

When first analyzing Marovich’s article, I found her introduction to the idea of “cuteness” to be interesting, but oddly vague. But there was one aspect of it that stuck out rather clearly: the beckoning cat, and its “magical” properties to draw people in and create good fortune. But what was this magic? How do I find its origin? To help in my comprehension of the topic, I began by doing a Google image search of just the word “cute” to see if I could find any patterns. Lo-and-behold, there was in fact a pattern, things that I have observed my entire life, yet never managed to connect the dots to: puppies at play, kittens in tea cups, babies looking perfectly innocent with wide eyed stares, but it obviously has to go deeper than that; There’s got to be more to this that I’m missing.

Because I found Marovich’s article to be rather surface level, I instead chose to take a look into her sources, which revealed a great deal of factual information that explains our powerful relationships with all things categorized as “cute”. Hiroshi Nittono’s article “The Power of Kawaii” summed up the phenomenon as so: “Cute objects are assumed to be characterized by baby schema. This is a set of features that are commonly seen in young animals: a large head relative to the body size, a high and protruding forehead, large eyes, and so forth.” He goes on to indicate that this baby schema creates a stimulus, which triggers many of our brain’s receptors, particularly those associated with attentiveness, motivation and care giving. The high level of rewarding stimuli we receive just from the observation of these objects is a compelling explanation of our “obsession” with them.

To drive this point home further,  Cara Santa Maria of the Huffington post breaks down the origins of this “power”. Evolutionary developments, pertaining to both human beings and other living creatures, are arguably the sole reason why “cute” properties are so valued our minds. As stated previously, we find certain animals (particularly young ones) to be cute because their physical characteristics stimulate our brains in the same way that human babies do. But why do we find these particular features so attractive? One likely answer may be that over time, a mutation in the genes of mothers predisposed them to be more protective and nurturing of the offspring that possessed what we now refer to as “cute” features. As a result, these children (who also were likely to possess the same genetic bias themselves) were much more likely to survive and reproduce, which over millions of years, slowly adapted our inherent reaction towards animals and objects with the same aesthetics. For example, a young, docile appearance can explain why we bred and domesticated certain types of animals, as opposed to others. Additionally, these patterns explain why we describe these qualities magnetic and “magical”. In all actuality, the talismanic properties of the beckoning cat are merely a façade: they lure us in because we are genetically predisposed to see them as such, and the “good fortune” they bring stems from the fact that their appearance naturally causes us to feel more motivated and rewarded.

So we have an understanding of the science of cuteness, but this still leaves the question of why exactly do humans often treat these living, breathing creatures with the same level of possession and personal association that they would any other object? To find the answer, I returned to Belk’s essay “Possessions & the extended self”. Perhaps, most obviously, there is the notion that we see these creatures as objects because a person may see himself or herself as the amalgamation of everything they have or possess. Spouses, Children, Slaves are all examples of ways in which man has found a sense of possession towards those in his own species, so it seems only natural that similar attitudes be held over other living creatures. This becomes more elaborate as Belk suggests that we see our pets at extensions of ourselves, both in terms of personality and viewing treatment of a pet as a reflection of the opinion of the self. As the creation of “cute” objects became more and more apparent, it would seem only natural that they would be crafted to allow us to input ourselves into them as well. This can explain why some of the most famous faces in popular culture (Hello Kitty,  Pikachu, Snoopy, etc.) are all examples of characters in that possess cute qualities, but yet are seemingly voiceless. This internal vacancy allows us to project ourselves into the character, adding in yet another layer to the complex science of cuteness.