Dying to be cute
Are celebrities starving themselves to mimic our culture’s image of “cuteness“? There are well established theories on our species preference for “juvenile features” (large eyes, bulging craniums, retreating chins), and that over generations our shape has evolved to mimic this appearance.
Extreme dieting creates an even more exaggerated juvenile look (giant forehead, enlarged eyes, receding lower features.) In a society where looks mean so much, young stars maybe using anorexia as an evolutionary shortcut to the ultimate image of cuteness.
Evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould used the changing features of Mickey Mouse as a model for the theory of neoteny with his growingly rounder head, bigger eyes, and shorter snout. But these days the changing facial features of young starlets could be used as a more contemporary example.
Gould asserts that neoteny and society’s preference of child-like features has actually changed the evolution of the human form…
“A marked slowdown of developmental rates has triggered our neoteny. Primates are slow developers among mammals. We have very long periods of gestation, markedly extended childhoods, and the longest life span of any mammal. The morphological features of eternal youth have served us well. Our enlarged brain is, at least in part, a result of extending rapid prenatal growth rates to later ages.”