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Hello Kitty Is Not a Cat, But She Can Be Ice Cubes and Hot Dogs

Hello Kitty Is Not a Cat, But She Can Be Ice Cubes and Hot Dogs
culture

The revelation from Japanese company Sanrio that Hello Kitty is in fact a human being takes the Internet by surprise

Sara Roncero-Menendez
  • 2 september 2014

The revelation that the iconic Japanese feline, Hello Kitty, is not in fact a cat has shaken the Internet to its core. People are now wondering when this decision was made about the character’s being and if she is not in fact a cat, what exactly is she? And how does it affect this beloved figure’s reputation on the eve of her 40th anniversary?

The news broke when Christine R. Yano, an anthropologist from the University of Hawaii, was setting up an exhibit on Hello Kitty for the Japanese American National Museum, located in Los Angeles. She was preparing a script for the exhibit when Sanrio, the company that created Hello Kitty and her adorable posse, corrected her that she is not a cat, but is in fact a young British girl named Kitty White. They cited that fact that she stands on two legs, walking and sitting like a human girl, and has a pet cat of her own named Charmmy Kitty. While this does not explain the ears and whiskers present on the character physically, it does make more sense in terms of the character’s typical presentation and posing.

Many have been shocked by this revelation of the character’s biological identity, and have come to question when this became part of the Sanrio canon. Some of have pointed to the Hello Kitty TV show while others suggest that some of the original merchandise alludes to this information. Still, many are questioning that if it looks like a cat, shouldn’t it be a cat? What does this say about her other friends — are they humans that also just happened to look like animals?

The logic here is not clear but ultimately it’s up to the fans to decide. After all, Hello Kitty has always been a figure that is flexible when it comes to product creation. From cat-themed ice cubes (or rather human shaped ones, given the new information) to stationary to hot dogs, she is as ubiquitous and ever changing as needed. Ultimately, this changes nothing about the character herself or the brand, just a confusing tidbit of knowledge that happened to be revealed 40 years too late.

[h/t] The Guardian

Image Courtesy of JD Hancock

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