Hello Kitty has been a favorite among girls and women everywhere for the last forty years. I've personally purchased many items featuring the extremely loveable character. At the moment, I'm staring at a Hello Kitty Dream Lite on my floor and Go 2 Baby is wearing a Hello Kitty night shirt. I even own a swimsuit with several tiny HK faces on it. Until today when an article was shared with me from Buzzfeed, I like many others were pretty sure that Hello Kitty was, well, a kitty.
Even Christine Yano, the anthropologist who was hired to pull together the Hello Kitty exhibit at the Japanese American National Museum was under this impression. According to media sources such as People and Los Angeles Times, Yano learned the shocking truth about Hello Kitty after submitting notes for the exhibit to Sanrio, creators of the character. The company corrected her references of HK as a cat. Apparently the white little kitty we've grown to love is a little girl by the name of Kitty White. She has parents, and I even read that she may be a twin. If that isn't crazy enough, she is also a Scorpio who loves apple pie. This is interesting considering the fact that little girls don't typically have whiskers and cat like features. Now I get that cartoon characters have genders, but is Arthur not an aardvark, Rainbow Dash not a pony or Funshine not a Bear?
This is all news to me, and many others who haven't actually seen a cartoon or movie to gain context around her back story. I'm now wondering if this revelation will change the way people perceive little miss Kitty White. The name itself makes me feel different about it to be honest. As simple, and literal as it is, its just as much unappealing. I will definitely continue to refer to the character as Hello Kitty, just now knowing that she isn't a kitty.
At least now, our children will know the truth, right? Not that it really matters of course. The news has been covered on most major media platforms as breaking news, but it wont be long before the shock dies down and people forget all about it. From a marketing perspective, now would be the perfect time to release a movie to reel in fans and enthusiasts. I wouldn't be surprised if that was a part of the plan. I'm sure that couldn't have been the first time someone referred to the character as a cat. Are we that simple minded that we couldn't picture HK as anything other than she looked like? Or is our American common sense factor, not as common as we think?
In any case, I'm sure I will continue to buy HK merchandise for my daughter and anyone else who is a fan. Today, I shared the news with Go 2 Baby and she replied, "Hello Kitty is a girl like me,?" without a hint of disappointment. She's also a two year old who hasn't had many years with the thought of HK being a cat. For her, it doesn't matter either way. I honestly just wanna know why she has kitten ears, whiskers and other features as a human girl, but I'm known to over think things.
Do you care that Hello Kitty is not a kitty after all? Will it matter to your children? I'd love to know if anyone else is as shocked at I am.