There's a difference. An annoying one.
People tell me all the time that I'm cute. Even when I'm doing nothing to warrant such a comment — like using my step stool to reach something on the top shelf of my kitchen cabinet, or sitting on a bench where my feet don't reach the floor.
I have a heart-shaped face that people describe as "doll-like" and I'm pretty short, which are features that up my cute factor, I guess. Even though I'm a grown ass woman, I still have the occasional friend or even stranger grab my (face) cheeks and squeeze them.
The downside of being cute? You're never described as "hot." In fact, when you're trying to come off as sexy, even your best efforts are usually met with an "Awww."
Being cute but not hot comes with its own set of unique challenges. Here are 17 of the ones that I face on the regular.
1. That sexy outfit you borrowed from your hot friend doesn't do the same for you. Those threads that look smokin' hot on your bestie make you look like you just tried to play dress up in your mom's closet.
2. Forget taking a sexy selfie, either. Saying "prune" and even giving your best Tyra Banks "smize" still only earn you comments like "Adorbs!"
3. The emojis used to represent you are also cute. No one in your group chat ever responds to your texts with the fire emoji or even the flamenco dancer. It's always the bunny rabbit emoji, or the one with the two dancing girls dressed as bunnies. I mean, at least they're showing some skin.
4. Trying on clothes with your friends is an "Awww" fest. That skirt is so cute. That string bikini is so cute. That low cut halter top dress is so cute. On you, of course it is.
5. Even your lady parts are cute. "Give me those cute little boobs" is a real thing that a guy I dated once said to me. I haven't yet recovered.
6. People casually tell you that they want to eat you. As in, "You're so cute I could just eat you up!" I'll bet no one ever says that to any of the Victoria's Secret angels.
7. Even your misfortunes are "Awww"-worthy. The story you're telling your friends about how a truck drove by you really fast on a rainy day and got you wet with puddle water is, apparently, really cute. In fact, can you say the word "puddle" again? You're so cute when you say puddle.
8. It's impossible to gauge a guy's interest in you. Because even when you send a friend to investigate the matter, all you get back is, "She's cute." But lots of things are cute.
9. You get put on the backburner by your first dates. As in, "Oh, that girl Danielle I went on a date with is cute." But then you're left hanging while that guy explores "hotter" options. Rude.
10. You can't eat sexy things. Well, you can, but when you're a cute girl eating a banana in public, you're just a cute girl eating a banana. When you're a hot girl chowing down on that same phallic fruit, you're inciting boners.
11. Kids want to play with you. One time a little girl told me that I look like her doll. Then she wanted to play with me the entire time we were stuck on line together at the grocery store. Prior to this, I had been making eyes at the guy on line in front of me. Being cute got me cockblocked by a toddler.
12. Even the drunk version of you is cute. When sexy people get drunk, they become more fun and alluring. When cute people get drunk, slurring their words and swaying with the music makes them even cuter.
13. Hungover you is also cute. After a night of heavy drinking, I used to make myself toast at my last boyfriend's apartment. He'd find me making secret toast at 6 AM while trying not to vomit, and he'd tell me how adorable he thought that was. Hot hungover people have that "just laid" look and raspy sexy morning voice going for them. Me? I've got my super-cute secret toast habit.
14. You always get asked for directions. Hot people never get asked for directions because they're unapproachable. Cute people are forever being stopped to give directions, even when we insist we're not from here. Apparently we look friendly.
15. Dropping things is different. Ever see a hot woman accidentally drop something? Some chivalrous guy always rushes in to help. One time a guy saw me drop my ice cream cone and said, "Awww, that's the saddest thing I've ever seen happen." Then he kept walking.
16. You get passed over. It sucks, but it happens. If you're out with a lot of hot women, nine times out of ten you're going to be passed over in favor of the hottie standing next to you at the bar. But hey, hotness fades; cute is forever.
17. You struggle to own your cuteness. If everyone says it, then it must be true, right? But even though all the evidence points to the fact that you're adorable, you're not really sure what to do with that. Hot people know exactly how to use their looks to their advantage. But aside from garnering a lot of "Awwws" whenever you do things, you're not sure how to use your cute for the greater good. Is this what it feels like to be a puppy?
There are far worse fates than being cute but not hot, but there's no denying that sometimes it can be a challenge. Keep your head up, adorable people — even when you're asked for directions for the umpteenth time.