Hello Kitty was born in 1974, and since then, the beloved Sanrio character has only grown in popularity, as evidenced by the plethora of travel options that will fulfill every Hello Kitty lover’s fantasy. To read while you travel: Christine R. Yano’s cultural exploration Pink Globalization: Hello Kitty’s Trek across the Pacific and to bookmark: Hello Kitty Hell, where you will find the most bizarre Hello Kitty items you can imagine (out of more than 50,000!), from ice cubes to bullets to tooth crowns. New products abound, though; my Google Alert for Hello Kitty is constantly pinging with items like a Hello Kitty surge protector. Can’t get away? You can create your own Hello Kitty home decor with these rub-on Hello Kitty wall graphics. Note: these tips are not necessarily listed in geographic proximity, but are some ideas for how to get your Hello Kitty on around the world. Keep reading »
Listen, I know, sometimes we just want to be cute. Cute is fine, but in my estimation, this dress goes over the cliff from cute to infantilizing. This “Kawaii Not?” dress from Modcloth puts a Hello Kitty face on your boobs, and just seems like an adult-man repeller. But what do you think?
Just now, as I was walking to get lunch, I spied a guy with a beautiful huge husky dog walking down 5th Avenue. Because I’m a total dog perv, I was checking the pup out, and then I looked up at the guy, and realized he was wearing what I thought was a Hello Kitty shirt. How cute, I thought. But then I looked closer: It said “Hello Titty.” And no, this guy wasn’t some overgrown frat boy just out of high school — this was a solidly middle-aged man, wearing a ridiculous Hello Kitty parody shirt. This is fucked up for a number of reasons — the fact that Hello Kitty is fairly well marketed to young girls and women, to start. But also? This guy should be ashamed of wearing something so ridiculously sexist and inappropriate in public (and also, not very clever). So yes, feminism, meet (one of) your (many) reasons to exist.
I’m literally speechless after watching this video of Courtney Stodden channelling Hello Kitty. Either she’s certifiable or she has a bright future as a performance artist. The girl has no inhibitions. It’s quite remarkable, actually. Her and James Franco should collaborate. [You Tube]
“I’m pretty amazed by Hello Kitty. I see so many women in their 30s walking around in Hello Kitty shit and nobody is concerned for them … [Is it] the one iconic teenage symbol that seems okay for women in their 30s? The world seems to not have an issue with it … [I] said to the costume director, ‘Get me some Hello Kitty T-shirts.’ Those were my demands.”
– Charlize Theron on the reasoning behind her “Young Adult” costumes. I think what she’s trying to say, very diplomatically, is that there is a point when a woman becomes too old to wear Hello Kitty paraphernalia. I tend to agree with her. No offense to Hello Kitty, but the last time I visited a Sanrio store, I was in elementary school. I appreciate how Charlize’s “Young Adult” character is opening up the discussion about the ways in which women experience arrested development. We struggle to grow up just as much as men do, we just express it differently. [Us Weekly]
Bangkok, Thailand has taken a pretty non-traditional approach to curbing police corruption. Of late, they’ve been punishing officers who act out of line by requiring that they wear pink Hello Kitty armbands on their uniforms. “This new twist is expected to make them feel guilt and shame and prevent them from repeating the offense, no matter how minor,” said Pongpat Chayaphan, acting chief of the Crime Suppression Division in Bangkok. “Kitty is a cute icon for young girls. It’s not something macho police officers want covering their biceps.”
Hmm, okay, so we get it. Pink Hello Kitty armbands are juvenile and girly. But God, there are so many things wrong with this idea. First off, does anybody remember the last time “violators” were identified using armbands? I’ll give you a hint: It stars with H and ends with OLOCAUST. Secondly, punishing with pink and girly imagery sends implicit messaging that traditionally feminine iconography and colors are shameful.
And this is hardly the only time pink has been used as a weapon…
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By now, you can imagine how I personally feel about Forever 21. (It’s the pits.) However, I’m dutybound to inform you of the company’s latest collaboration with Sanrio’s very own Ms. Hello Kitty. The very low-priced collection — every piece is below $30 bucks — will appear in Forevs stores in November, and will surely be snatched up by preteens — and women reliving their preteen years — everywhere. [Racked]
Some fads go too far. And this slimy-looking Hello Kitty in utero is the exact location of where “too far” exists. [Crushable] Keep reading »
So you know how your car sometimes runs out of motor oil and you take it to your local gas station or Jiffy Lube or something and say “fill ‘er up with that high grade Hello Kitty brand motor oil, ‘ol chap!”? Oh, that doesn’t sound familiar? That’s probably because it’s utterly ridiculous. In fact, if that scenario did bring on a sense of deja vu, we’re genuinely concerned about your [utter lack of] common sense. Motor oil is the stuff of car porn and efficiency, not cartoon kitties and Japanese school girls. So please, please don’t spend $33 on motor oil whose container is emblazoned with that grinning, knowing cat; you’re better than that. [Advertising Is Good For You] Keep reading »
If you ever find yourself being wheeled around a hospital in a Hello Kitty wheelchair, you should probably consider switching to a facility that doesn’t employ Sanrio-branded equipment. (You think this is bad, wait until you see the Hello Kitty sutures they have waiting for you in the operating room!) Sadly, if you’re in the wheelchair in the first place, booking it out of there won’t be so easy. [Inventor Spot] Keep reading »