What's your adjective?

Sunday, February 07, 2010
Sorry, no pictures today/tonight/this morning. I've been up trying to get caught up with comments but I'm still really behind. So sorry!

Lately, I've been thinking about adjectives that we use in the fashion blogging world. I've narrowed it down to four:  cute, pretty, beautiful, and sexy. I find that a lot of the bloggers fall into at least one of these categories. Of course, we all have different ideas on what they all mean..

Personally, I think I am cute and pretty and never sexy! ...except I don't like being called cute. But too bad for me because that word is used a LOT in the blogging world. In my opinion cute is demeaning. It is used for little girls with pigtails and frilly dresses and mary janes. But then there is kawaii - the Asian cute. That's different from the former idea of cute. Real Asians (not me) can pull off being cute and sexy at the same time! I think that is amazing. And most definitely not me.

So...which of these adjectives (cute, pretty, beautiful, sexy) do you classify yourself as? and why?

71 comments :

  1. I love this post!I ve been thinking this many times and i feel weird everytime someone says i m cute.I might be beautiful and sexy maybe also pretty but being a woman i don t feel very cute;)It s for little girls.The other thing is that some of the cloths what i m wearing might be cute,which is different of course.Have a fab sunday!


    Nuheila

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  2. i am in the same boat as you. always cute. though, i have gotten a few prettys in my life time and oh how i appreciate them. my friend elaine. I will have to go with beautiful for you. and fantastic. with some cute and majestic as well. and pretty.
    love you.
    Hay

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  3. Does this mean us personally or our blogs? Then I guess, our personal adjectives would transfer over to our blogs. "Cute" has been used quite often on my blog, and I think that's the category I fall in. Though I have to admit, I can only strive for "pretty" or "beautiful." I'm not very "sexy" HARD AS I TRY (hahaha).

    Btw, yes I do "speak" Korean... though I have to admit that I talk like "a retarded five year old." ><;; oh dear.

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  4. yep,well apparently there was a bomb not a gas accumulation.gosh.:-S

    well,i consider myself pretty and cute.that's enough.

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  5. same here! always cute, but never sexy! one day i hope i can get into that category hehehe

    leethroughthelens.blogspot.com

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  6. I am also a fan of this post. However, without sounding inappropriate, I think you might just be wrong about not classifying yourself as sexy -- that hair certainly helps elevate you from your 'cute factor'.

    I consider my style to be sexy/conservative/romantic--and occasionally a little bohemian. a nice safe blend!

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  7. definitely cute ;) People always said that I am so cute maybe this is beacuse I am so tiny and there is a little romantic child in me ;)

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  8. Cute!


    P.S.: ♥Please don't forget to join the Gemmerson giveaway!♥

    Good luck!

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  9. I would prefer to view myself as pretty, but I know many people view me as cute. I like to view my style as fun, whimsical and optimistic, but cute to me feels more like something you call a little girl. I don't necessarily feel offended when someone calls me cute, but it's not how I view myself.

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  10. i'm definitely just pretty.

    i hate when people call me cute, too! for the same reason! i find it demeaning as well.
    but while cute may be linked to younger girls, it also in the same way means innocent, sweet and feminine, which i guess isn't such a bad thing, right? :)

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  11. Honestly - I really need to embark upon a whole study of adjectives pretty quick, I find myself using the same ones over and over again - I don't fall into any of the above categories . . . hmmm . . . thinking . . . appealing, striking or classy . . . maybe . . .

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  12. I just like to think of myself as intelligent...but then again, I'm not a fashion blogger, I'm a photo blogger; I just like art and like to follow them. I might go with the adjective "stunning" for you!

    ~Chelsea

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  13. Wow, I'm sad that 'cute' has such a bad reputation. I don't think it's demeaning - I call things cute when they are endearing.

    I actually like being cute. I think it makes it easier to be sexy without being sexual. (Ha. Does that make sense?) Like, a cute person can turn a sexy outfit into a pretty one.

    ShopTOLive.ca

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  14. I think this is really interesting and I've been working on a post about just that!

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  15. Hhhmmm I guess people tend to say I am pretty, rarely cute as to be called this at 33 years old is kind of strange! Haha

    xxx

    P.S. I have a little award for you so pop on over to take a look when you can :)

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  16. i hear pretty a lot for me. i hate being called cute too but i don't hear it often. and i feel awkward when someone calls me sexy - mostly because sometimes i don't feel that way haha.

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  17. About 15 years ago I realized that I was probably always going to be considered cute so I just embraced it and kept on moving. I even think of myself and my style as cute on a good day, adorable on a real winning day. But at least my bf always tells me I'm beautiful.

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  18. I personally do not have any negative connotations associated with the word cute. I also try not to pigeonhole myself with a certain descriptive word.

    I believe that each day I have a new opportunity to present myself to the world according to the mood that I am in. Some days it may be pretty, some days it might be sophisticated, the next day it might be quite unattractive.

    And every one of those "labels" is OK with me. Because I get to choose based on how I feel, and I don't let the opinions of others control me.

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  19. I really don't think "cute" is a bad adjective. I think "cute" encompasses a spunky, fun personality - and isn't just reserved for sugary girliness.

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  20. "sexy" is my adjective, but only when I'm wearing my HOTT lime-green footed jammies.

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  21. I don't mind being called cute, but sometimes that makes me wonder if that means that I'm boring? I don't know why I think so either. I think that you are very pretty! I feel like you should share how you maintain your hair. It looks amazing, so shiny and straight!

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  22. Great post - I think I definitely fall into the "cute" category...I never associate myself with beautiful, pretty and DEFINITELY not sexy. I've always grown up as the cute girl that it's the only thing I know....and I'm ok with it.

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  23. I think that all fashion/style bloggers fall into EVERY catergory. We are all cute, pretty, beautiful and sexy all at the same time because we have the courage and confidence to post ourselves to the world.

    I will say that blogging has built my confidence up alittle and I am slowly working my way up the category list. Right now I would say I am at cute/pretty point.

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  24. Hrm...I think I can be either of the four, depending on my mood :) The style aesthetic I usually aim for I guess is "beautiful", but who knows if I actually pull that off. And I never realized how guilty I am at doling out cute as an adjective! I personally don't mean it demeaningly and I don't think most others do either, though I do see your point now -- I just think it's become the fashion world's go-to synonym for pretty and/or stylish.

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  25. Hm, this is interesting and I haven't really thought about it that much before. Once, when I'd just gotten into a taxi and told the driver where I was going he said, "You know, you're lucky because you've got it both - you're cute but you're also pretty/sexy." And it wasn't pervy or antagonizing or anything. It was just funny. And that was the first time I'd ever thought about it.

    So I guess it changes based on the person? I have heard all of those from different people, as I'm sure many of us have.

    If I had to pick for myself I would just say pretty - it's not as striking as "beautiful" and while I love cute things, I don't think that hits it either. I think "pretty" is median enough and can possible encapsulate the others as well, at different times.

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  26. I get "cute" a lot. but I would rather be beautiful. I'm NOT sexy...even if I tried. I think I get cute mostly because I am petite. cute/small seem to together a lot. And cute probably goes along better with my personally as well. At least it's not dumb or boring :)

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  27. Cute is me all the way! If I even try for sexy ~ I end up looking totally goofy and then my husband laughs and says how cute I am. I embrace it ~ it's very me, and doesn't bother me a bit!

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  28. I get the cute alot...but I don't think i mind it much..after all, a compliment is a compliment!

    PS- I think you are all 4!!

    Cheers!
    www.callmestylista.blogspot.com

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  29. Cute/pretty, I guess. I have a young face, haha.

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  30. I definitely get cute the most in real life and in my blog posts. Cute, to me, has connotations of being fun, light hearted, and charm ... so I like it!

    I see myself as pretty, not beautiful or sexy. I'm not serious enough to be beautiful, and I'm not seductive enough to be sexy!

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  31. I think pretty. Most of the time I'm dressing for teaching college students so I don't want to be seen as either cute or sexy.

    Could we set up another category for funky/eclectic?

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  32. oh mann you don't like being called cute?? I think I call you cute in every comment. I'll work on it. I would say that I'd probably be cute... you definitely have to have a certain personality to be sexy in everyday clothes I think.

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  33. It's hard to decide really. Well, I think that beautiful classifies me best.

    Have a great week
    -The Trendy Fashionista
    http://thetrendyfashionista.blogspot.com

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  34. i used to want to be sexy and edgy, but as i felt i'd need to lose nearly 100 pounds to do so, i finally accepted that i'll pretty much always be cute. but i'm pretty ok with that.

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  35. I'd say I'm mostly cute. I'd prefer to be simply beautiful.. but I am a little Asian girl and I'm mostly smilling/laughing throughout my days. I'd definitely say most people describe me as the cute little Asian girl.

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  36. well...english is not my first language nad..maybe becaise it was one of the first adjectives I learnt.. I love the word "pretty".

    xxx

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  37. I think all of them fit me in a way. ladies, ain't nothing wrong with that! a little self-confidence goes a loooong way.

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  38. i get cute a lot. i don't mind it at all! i think the word implies that not only do you look sweet and feminine, but you also have a fun, spunky attitude to boot!

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  39. I feel like I'm all four! In the blogging world, however, most of my comments generally call me "cute" or "pretty," and I might even feel a little weird if someone called me "sexy." That said, I do generally feel pretty sexy. To me sexiness is about feeling vibrant and liberated and in touch with the world and my body rather than pure seduction.

    No matter what specific adjective I use, I always think you're amazing!

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  40. I don't think cute is a demeaning word.

    I'm actually kind of bothered if people want to take it out of rotation and limit it to small children with pig-tails.

    Once, when I was meeting a new co-worker as he was setting up his desk, I came across a photo of his wife and said, "She's cute." Which from me - means she is good-looking - attractive - pretty. but pretty is such a weird word - it sounds non-committal to me.
    Anyway.... he huffed up and said, "She is NOT cute."
    I had no idea cute was considered an insult.

    And to be honest, I reserve beautiful for people who I would trade faces with. If you are pretty, but I'd still rather look like me... you're cute.
    His wife had those down-turned eyes that I think make people look sleepy - and I would rather have my eyes. So she's cute.

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  41. I always find myself saying "cute" or "pretty" about the other bloggers because I feel like less of a creeper that way. I don't want to fuss over everyone saying they're the most gorgeous thing in the world, especially if I only like maybe the shoes they're wearing or a jacket. I don't mind getting called cute, it actually makes me feel better about myself physically because I'm not a small girl. Cute is good, haha.

    =D

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  42. I really like using the word cute, I do not associate it only with young girls. But I know a lot of people feel about it. Maybe we should invent a new word :)
    For myself, I really don't know what word would describe me... I think that changes everyday :)
    *Nathalie

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  43. Tough one. And a great question! With three little girls, I often use cute in various ways. They're acting cute, looking cute, sometimes I mean it sarcastically... For myself I would say, beautiful, in the more classic sense of the word. I have certain characteristics that can be beautiful sometimes. I'm sexy for my husband and I can sometimes be cute.

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  44. ive never been called sexy by anyone, its always cute...and i just take it as a compliment i guess heehee. i think another word that can describe you is beautiful. and stunning and sexy in your wedding day photos!! i love that dress!!

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  45. I used to think "cute" was a bit demeaning too, but I haven't thought that for a while. Over time, I have come to think of cute as meaning, attractive + charming. As for my own adjective -- I think I'm quirky.

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  46. I am sorry that I ever called you or your outfits cute...after reading hundreds of comments, I can see where that would get old fast for you !

    I went to a baby shower recently and I swear, I felt like screaming and running from the room... CUTE was so overused by everyone, it was almost disturbing !

    I have been called all those adjectives in my lifetime...my most favorite people actually call me beautiful (big surprise) but I think the best adjective for me is "opinionated" at this point !!!

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  47. I think you're like most people in the sense that you don't like the adjective 'cute'. For some reason, most people associate that as a negative thing. But I know for me that when I say that to someone I mean it as a huge compliment! But then I guess that also just proves what you said above about everyone sort of defining and using these adjectives differently. Which if that is the case, then it makes it hard to truly decipher what someone is saying when they use these adjectives to describe you or an outfit on your blog. Interesting topic, for sure. Definitely one that could form quite the discussion! But it's definitely something good to bring up. We should all probably strive to be a little more specific and definite in the way we comment to one another. Get a little more creative instead of using these same adjectives over and over as we are all guilty of doing! Time to bust out a broader vocabulary!

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  48. None of those apply to me! LOL

    I hope this isn't going to get me in trouble, but you do...ahhh, some of your...ummmm, well, you are beautiful and plenty of your outfits are sexy, but always in a stylish, classy way.

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  49. Cute. I classify myself that way because that's how everyone describes me!! :)

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  50. haha, I've thought of these same adjectives myself! I agree as well, I think every woman in general can fit into one or more of these categories. Being (part)Japanese makes me really admire being cute... I don't find it so much demeaning, I think it's a matter of perception and how you were raised to think of the word to define it. "Cute" in my family is a desirable aspect! lol ^_^

    Me? sigh.. I think I am confused and it causes my wardrobe to be the same way. I think I am a little "cute" and have a sense of elegance at the same time... So, maybe I am pretty? Who knows... I think these words in this context describes our personalities and our atmosphere more than our physical looks....

    ♥ Aya
    strawberrykoi.blogspot.com

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  51. I've never been called pretty or sexy. I heard beautiful a few times when I was much younger, but no one would say that today. Someone recently left a comment on my blog calling me cute, which I thought was great because it was the first time anyone has EVER said that to me! To me it just means "I like the way you look." It's a nice thing to say.

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  52. i just commented on this on your latest post but i thought i'd throw this in...

    from my students i've learned that a lot of the adjectives are generational and cultural. my friends that are my age and that i grew up with in similar family make ups use "cute" and "pretty" a lot interchangeably.

    my students (who are mostly black and hispanic) describe me and my style sometimes in ways that i wouldn't... i've actually had several hispanic students call me "sexy" (which was awkward and in one case warranted a referral - yikes!) and then i also get "pretty" a lot from them. i'm not sure i've ever heard any of them say "cute" which i found odd for a while. however, i think some of this could also be due to the fact that i'm older than them and when i compliment those older than me i usually opt for "pretty" over "cute."

    it's so complicated haha!

    i think your adjectives would be beautiful, feminine and chic. i will try to refrain from using "cute" but just know that if i do i mean it as pretty! :)

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  53. when i comment on other people's blogs, i tend to use the word "cute" a lot, with the best of intentions, really. i've always thought it synonymous with pretty, but as language changes, perhaps i should minimize my use of it since i really don't want to offend anyone.

    which category do i fall in? i've been called *cute* and even *pretty* by friends and family. and, thank goodness, my husband thinks i'm *beautiful*. i sometimes think i look pretty when i fix myself up, but mostly, i don't know -- i'm just me.

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  54. Personally, I think I am pretty and a tad sexy when I want to be. I am guilty of using cute, and I'm working on not using it as much unless I refer to children. I've been called beautiful, but I'm not ready to accept that as a way to describe myself.

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  55. I have to say: I am so in love with the tights :)
    thanks for the sweet comment at mine! <3 xx

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  56. I think I'm cute, because cute means being sweet and loveable and kind and pretty. my style is boho-whimsical and when im more whimsical (read random bows and butterflies) this is definitely channelling. But when I'm more boho, tend more to sexy, and pretty and on occassion (when an angel gets its wings) beautiful :)

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  57. I don't find cute to be demeaning, it's probably the term I associate myself with most (I often dress quite girly and am slightly obsessed with bows, tutus, tiaras etc haha). If I call someone else cute, or say that about something they're wearing then I only ever mean it in a positive way; to me cute means sweet and loveable, as the commenter above me said.

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  58. I think my adjectives for you would be pretty and sexy (it's totally your modern/retro/put together/laidback vibe, so like cool sexy, if that makes any sense!).

    I would consider myself cute - though I strive for pretty - since I'm a borderline tomboy trying to find my style.

    I use cute (and even adorable) a lot to describe outfits in blogs and never thought of it potentially as being negative.

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  59. I also do not like the word 'cute'. I think this stems from childhood into adulthood where I've always been a heavier gal and people describe me as cute. Ugh. But, kinda hypocritically, I describe other people as cute and honestly, mean it as a positive term!

    Secretly, I view myself as beautiful.

    I view you as chic. With that great haircut and your outfits lately...chic is definitely the word that pops into my mind!

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  60. Oh Elaine, I'm so guilty of using the word "cute". I know what you mean, sometimes it sounds completely condescending, I feel like that at times. Even though I know full well that when I use it to desribe someone else I don't mean it that way at all.
    Silly, of course you can and DO pull it off at the same time!

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  61. Wow, Elaine, what a wonderful and thought provoking post!

    I think I am all 4 (can I be all 4?) There are alot of times were I think I am cute- mainly when I go to work or on weekends running errands; I am pretty or beautiful when I actually take the extra time to be a little more put together (do my hair, take time to actually do my make-up, iron (haha), etc.); and I am sexy when I want to turn my boyfriend's head or when I am alone or think no one is watching.

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  62. I've always though of the degrees of attractiveness as cute, pretty, beautiful, and gorgeous. I'd say I'm a "cute" - some days I feel pretty, my fiance calls me beautiful and gorgeous, but with so many girls out there who are so much more attractive than I am, I feel that "cute" is most accurate, comparatively speaking.

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  63. Hmm, I think I'm cute... I have a baby face and full cheeks, so I look pretty young. I have been called beautiful and gorgeous several times though! :)

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  64. Hey, I think you are all of these terms, but in a demure way (sexy does not have to equal skin! Think about how sexy Maggie Gyllenhaal or Zoey Deschanel look in their vintage inspired clothing).
    I don't have a style blog (working on it though), but I think of myself as attractive, interesting, and sometimes sexy. I was told that I look sexy because I wear clothes that show off my legs and mix and match masculine and feminine pieces.
    My (much) little sister is really really cute. She has lovely cheekbones, her hair is more stylish, and wears really interesting clothes. She's been the cutest thing ever since she was born. She thinks that I'm prettier, but I think she's just learning how lovely she really is now.

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  65. Off the bat I associate myself with being "cute". I hate to admit it, but I need to accept it. My cheery, unicorn believing disposition puts me right into the "CUTE" category. I don't find it demeaning though. If I had to choose another category, I'd put myself into the beautiful category. I think all women are beautiful and in regards to sexy, it's more a feeling that a look. Don't you think? If you feel sexy, you'll exude sexiness. :D And lastly pretty, I think pretty is overrated. lol. Great post Elaine.. can't believe this is my first time reading it.

    xx Love & Aloha

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  66. I have a serious problem with being called "cute" but sometimes it may be the only adjective to use to describe my borderline looking-like-a-12-year-old style. I don't think that I ever look sexy. I'm scrawny, lanky, and petite. I have hips but my upper body endowment is, well, small. You are most definitely Asian cute! I think my overall goal is for people to think "man, that girl looks straight up cool", or, the polar opposite, "regal".

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  67. Oi Elaine, meu nome é Daniele, eu sou Mórmon, e eu amo seu blog, é muito legal aqui, eu sou brasileira, parabéns pelo blog, tá tudo muito lindo !

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  68. I couldn't really say...I have been called all these things EXCEPT cute. :(

    I like to think I'm pretty ...but since I have red hair, I think it qualifies me for the beautiful slot. HAHA!

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