When I was a teenager, Hello Kitty products were introduced to the United States. They had moderate success, mainly among the younger female children. The logo adorned clothing, notebooks, school supplies, toys, etc. It was cute, but nothing more. As I grew older, I realized that this product line was Japanese, and that the Japanese loved their Hello Kitty. Hello Kitty is still as loved in Asian countries as it ever was, but it’s definitely an issue.
First, witness the scene yesterday at a mall in Singapore. A younger (early 20s) Asian couple is walking through the food court. She is well dressed in black and red. He is wearing black skinny jeans (ugh) and a Hello Kitty t-shirt. He also has on sneakers adorned with the Hello Kitty logo. When did it become ok for older people to wear Hello Kitty clothing, or go to see the Hello Kitty movie (yes, there IS one) or even LIKE Hello Kitty? This was also a big thing when I lived in China. Young adults LOVE Hello Kitty. Maybe it’s a throw back to when they were younger and it makes them feel nostalgic, maybe it’s a sort of comedic thing to wear the cute little kitty on your clothes. Whatever it is, it has to stop. This product is designed for prepubescent girls to enjoy. It’s not something that adults (especially young men) should even be knowledgeable about. When I was in China, one of my MALE students once explained the different Hello Kitty characters to me. He was 17 years old.
Maybe the title of this blog post is misleading. I’m not annoyed by the existence of Hello Kitty. I think it’s a moronic premise and that it doesn’t deserve any place in the stores, but little girls like it and it’s appropriate for little girls. I’m annoyed by the fact that young adults have now adopted Hello Kitty as their de facto mascot, and have raised it to new levels of stupidity. Please, people, leave the kitty for the kids!