Given the serious and depressing news of the past couple of weeks, I think it’s okay to take in a bit of fluffy “news.” Sanrio‘s most famous character was just revealed to be human. Because, what now? That’s right, Hello Kitty is actually a young British girl and NOT a mouthless feline. As if being a cat with no mouth wasn’t weird enough.
Anthropologist Christine R. Yano told the Los Angeles Times that when she was preparing her written texts for the Japanese American National Museums’ upcoming exhibit on the character, Sanrio firmly corrected her when it came to Hello Kitty’s er…species.
“That’s one correction Sanrio made for my script for the show. Hello Kitty is not a cat. She’s a cartoon character. She is a little girl. She is a friend. But she is not a cat. She’s never depicted on all fours. She walks and sits like a two-legged creature. She does have a pet cat of her own, however, and it’s called Charmmy Kitty,” Yano said.
Not only that, but Hello Kitty has an astrological sign, Scorpio, a twin sister named Mimmy and their parents are named George and Mary White. It’s weird to think that a character who will be celebrating a 40th anniversary this year has such an extensive background that most people don’t know about. This is one of those “the story never mentioned that Humpty Dumpty was an egg“ type things because Sanrio has never said she was a cat, but look at her! Look the ears, Maury! What elementary school aged girl has whiskers?
Still, Hello Kitty is as popular as ever, there will be a Helly Kitty Con at the end of next month in LA. Her image appears on thousands of products, from toilet paper to yogurt. and she even had her own cartoon. Yano suggests that her success is attributed to her simplicity.
“People see the possibility of a range of expressions. You can give her a guitar, you can put her on stage, you can portray her as is. That blankness gives her an appeal to so many types of people.”
Oh. Okaaaay. WHAT???