Two Infinities

Thu, 28 Apr 2005

Oh, Baby!

In Wired magazine this month is a feature titled "Anime eyes". Dark colored contacts are in vogue among Japanese schoolgirls because they make eyes look larger, more like childlike anime characters.

I immediately thought of Stephen Jay Gould's essay "A Biological Homage to Mickey Mouse" (available on-line, incredibly, here). Gould's essay picks up on Conrad Lorenz's earlier work on human response to juvenile features, such as large eyes, bulging craniums, and retreating chins. Mickey figures in because his appearance over the 50 years prior to the essay had evolved towards a more juvenile appearance.

I guess the association between neoteny and sexuality is more involved than an evolved proclivity to protect babies in this case, however.

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