Modern feminism. I could just end this there and that would be enough to convey how stupid this is. This is the stupidest thing I’ve ever read. How people can actually believe this is totally beyond me. I mean, how little of a life do you have to have if you are going around and looking for reasons to hate Hello Kitty? How little of a life do you have, ladies? Confused? Well, let me explain.
An article in Time magazine recently talked about a con that is happening in celebration of the 40th birthday of the popular Japanese brand Hello Kitty. If you don’t know what that is, because you aren’t a pre-teen girl, it is a cute little cat that has no mouth and a bow on its head. Well, no mouth that we can see. It could have a mouth. The fur of this cat could just be covering it up. But you never see it. This brand has been popular for ages. It has spawned everything from an anime series to plush toys to even coffee mugs. Like most brands that are for kids, it is successful, based on good marketing. That’s Hello Kitty for ya. Does that sound the least bit threatening to you? Look at the picture, and ask yourselves – does this seem sexist or dangerous to the psychological health of young girls? If you have more than 20 working brain cells, then you answered “no, not really.” Well, according to some feminists, this isn’t the case at all. Here is the article, so you can read it for yourself, and I will pick out a few of the juicier tidbits.
Despite her seemingly benign and utterly adorable appearance, the character has become a polarizing cult figure around the world. Fans who collect everything Hello Kitty say she’s empowering, or at the very least a harmless hobby. Critics say she’s a sexist throwback to a time when girls, particularly Asian girls, were supposed to be cute and silent (the character has no mouth).
I think that first group of people is on to something. Harmless hobby. Yes, that really seems to hit the mark. I mean, what girl looks at that little cute picture and goes “oh, Asian woman have no mouths and are supposed to be silent? Now I know!” That’s right, kids, and knowing is half the battle.
“She is so empowering because she can be anything you want her to be,” says Jill Koch, Senior Vice President of Brand Management & Marketing at Sanrio. “It’s a lot more powerful to not have to speak.” That way, “women feel like Hello Kitty listens,” says Yuko Yamaguchi, Tokyo-based head designer of Hello Kitty for more than 30 years. “She makes you feel understood.”
It really sounds like you all are REALLY overthinking this. For real, I get the feeling that the explanation behind this character and the fan base has fuck-all to do with empowering women. Surely somebody in this group has a more rational outlook on this character, right?
In some ways, Hello Kitty has become the international representation of Japan’s culture of “kawaii,” which are items that are cute and meant to spread happiness and promote friendship.
There we go! Finally, somebody who actually knows what they’re talking about. People like Hello Kitty because it’s cute. Much in the same way that my ex has a Simba plush doll that she still snuggles up with when she sleeps, to this day. Which is adorable, by the way. And in the same way that my girly-mate who is studying at law school totally becomes a little kid when she is given a plushie. They like these things because they’re cute. That’s why little girls like them. That’s why other people like them. It’s cute, it’s fun, it’s something that makes you feel good. How hard is this? Who doesn’t get this?!
One mother writes, “Parents raise their daughters to be confident, articulate and outspoken,” so Hello Kitty’s lack of mouth sends girls “mixed messages about self-esteem,” while another writes, “It’s hard to shout, ‘I am woman, hear me roar,’ sans mouth,” after her three-year-old daughter fell in love with the character.
I knew it. I knew that somebody had to find a way to muck this all up. Because liking something because it’s cute apparently isn’t enough to modern feminists. No, it has to be empowering to women. It has to make them want to roar! Oh yeah, you go girls! You go out and roar! With your mouths! That’s what it’s all about! Oh, you like something because of your personal preferences? Well fuck that! You have to like it for empowerment reasons! So goes the line from women who over-analyze stuff like this.
Likewise, a 2004 editorial in The Japan Times, an English-language Japanese newspaper, argued UNICEF shouldn’t be using Hello Kitty to raise money for girls education programs noting that “someone needs to explain how a cat with no mouth can be a spokesperson for anything—especially girls’ education—and how an image that embodies female submissiveness is supposed to help banish gender-based stereotypes. Kitty is soft and pliable, doesn’t speak and sports a cute bow on her head: There’s your role model, girls!”
Idiot! It’s not a spokesperson or a fucking role model! It’s something cute that girls can like! What is so complicated about that?! What is it about that concept that you find so difficult to digest?! I refuse to believe that you all didn’t have such things in your lives when you were younger. I realize that now, you have to have everything in your life be about empowerment. You can’t just like something to do so. No, that’s what the patriarchy wants! They want you to have your own likes and dislikes. They want you to care about your own stuff and not give a fuck what other people think. Oh, wait, that’s what feminism is supposed to be about. Did you all not get the memo?
She has also gotten flack when she’s been seen as a symbol of the quiet, passive and submissive Asian woman stereotype. Take Avril Lavigne’s 2014 music video for “Hello Kitty,” which critics bashed because she used expressionless Japanese women as back-up dancers, who looked like “props,” as she screamed “Hello Kitty, you’re so pretty” over and over again.
Avril, I’d like to take this moment and apologize for how stupid modern feminists are. They are not even a movement now. They are a comedy of errors.
Here’s the truth – people like Hello Kitty because it’s fucking cute! You idiots! You people are so stupid, looking to find sexism and colonialism everywhere you go! I swear, how miserable must you be, seeing the worst in absolutely everything. Here’s an idea – let people like what they like. Isn’t that what feminism is all about – letting women like what the like? How hard is that to understand? Little kids and some grown-ups like cute things. There’s nothing wrong with that. To quote the movie that SO many feminists fawn over, “Let It Go!”
Until next time, a quote,
“Ain’t nobody like me, ‘xcept me!” -Rocket Racoon, Guardians of the Galaxy