Trending Now: Hello Kitty is Not a Cat

Hello Kitty is such an iconic icon, it transcends generations of fans. That's why millions got shocked when news came out that Sanrio announced that our beloved Hello Kitty is NOT A CAT.

Hello Kitty is a happy little girl as per ww.hello-kitty.sanriotown.com

Yup, little Ms. Kitty White is apparently just a cartoon girl who happen to have a snub nose, whiskers, and pointy ears, just like a cat. As a quote from Christine R. Yano, author of Pink Globalization: Hello Kitty's Trek Across the Pacific,
"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." ¹ 
As a character, Hello Kitty's appeal is universal. If you've noticed, she does not have a mouth. So why is that you ask? As per Yuko Yamaguchi, the current Hello Kitty designer, during an interview with Time Magazine:
"It's so that people who look at her can project their own feelings onto her face, because she has an expressionless face. Kitty looks happy when people are happy. She looks sad when they are sad. For this psychological reason, we thought she shouldn't be tied to any emotion - and that's why she doesn't have a mouth." 
And that's part of her charm and timelessness. I myself had a love affair with Hello Kitty. I've never been a fanatic and as I grew older, I lost much interest. Yet I cannot deny that Hello Kitty was a big part of the girly little me (and that little girl is screaming pink right now). With our favorite girl being front and center in social media these days, let me share 5 things Hello Kitty reminds me of:


1. Weekly trips to SanRio/Gift Gate - Before I turned 6 years old, we used to live in Caloocan. We're a quick tricycle ride away from Ever Gotesco Grand Central. At least once a week, my mom would bring my sister Paullette and me to the groceries. That means a visit to McDonald's play area and to our favorite knick knack store, Sanrio/Gift Gate. We don't always have the money to buy something for both of us so we learned  to share and take turns.

2. School Girl Cuteness and Friends - My mom loves everything to match. In school, my hair tie, hanky, socks, bags, notebooks, pencils, and erasers, they all have to match. Every year, there will be one theme. It was hello kitty for my second or third grade. If I remember it right, my friends were a group of Sanrio fans, including My Melody, Little Twin Stars and KeroKeroKeroppi.

3. Avril Lavigne and my Rockstar Dreams - She recently released a single titled Hello Kitty. Skater Boy became my theme when I dated one. I am such a fan of this ageless beauty, I died when I couldn't watch her concerts. I still have a secret desire to be a cool rocker chic. Rockers can be awesomely out of tune, right?

4. My undeveloped talent for drawing - I used to love to draw. My sketch pads and grade school notebooks were full of Hello Kitty heads, copied from the stickers on my pencil case. Then I moved to other cartoons, even eye-less portraits (never learned to draw realistic eyes  so either I left it blank or give it anime eyes). Life happened and I just realized I couldn't draw anymore.

5. McDonald's Happy Meal - mom said I loved Jollibee. But I remember McDonald's more. I collected lots of happy meal toys including, who else, Hello Kitty. Back in 2009, McDonald's released a collection to commemorate the 35th Birthday of Hello Kitty and her twin Mimi (did you know she has a twin?). I completed that but haven't seen it since we moved.

The 2009 collection. Picture grabbed from Google

This year, Hello Kitty is celebrating her 40th Birthday. Talk about midlife crisis huh. So even if she is just confused, having an identity crisis, or it's a hoax, Cat or Girl, she will always induce nostalgia to any conversation. And lots of happy memories. For sure, old and new fans, including Mila, will always enjoy her loveable cuteness for years to come.

Mila's first Hello Kitty doll. Sorry for poor pic quality.
Happy Birthday Hello Kitty! (screen grab from www.sanriotown.com)

¹Quote taken from The Wall Street Journal Blogs (www.blogs.wsj.com)

32 comments:

  1. I love hello kitty ever since i was a little girl :) haha i always did thought she was a cat :)

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  2. One of the biggest debates of the year. Haha. To me she's always been a cat. :) I wish they would simply leave it at that and not complicate it.

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    1. Haha. It's a strong contender. Biggest revelation ever!

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  3. I agree with clueless mom, pinacomplicate pa nila. Mukha naman cat si hello kitty. I used to live in Valenzuela and like you I always visit Gift Gate too in Grand Central. :)

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    1. I guess the more complicated and controversial, the better. It generates publicity for the events to celebrate her anniversary. Out of nowhere lang talaga

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  4. I was affected by the news, too, because when I was 9 years old, almost everything I owned was Hello Kitty. My entire room was virtually full of Hello Kitty stuff! But I did read on an article on kotaku.com that Hello Kitty is not a human girl; she's still considered a cat-like character but Sanrio didn't want to consider her as a mere cat. She's an anthropomorphic cat character. :)

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    1. I read that too. Cat having human characteristics. So not a cat, not a girl. What is Hello Kitty? Sanrio is really getting all confused. Haha

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  5. I really love the Sanrio store in Greenhills when I was younger. But the items are very pricey! Also, while most girls like Hello Kitty, I prefer Snoopy. Hehe!

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    1. I agree, items can really be pricey. I remember getting a bag and the deal was I will have to use it for two years because the price is equal to 2 bags.

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  6. Hello Kitty brings back so many childhood memories. I remember going to Gift Gate in Ali Mall as a little girl.

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    1. I don't think there's a kid who doesn't know Hello Kitty regardless of the generation. She's everywhere specially now

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  7. Muka naman talaga syang kitty eh tapos hindi daw. Ang gulo, mejo hindi ako fan ni hello kitty eh., hehehe.

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    1. I stopped being a fan years ago pero kakagulat pa din no? Biglang sobrang big deal sa Sanrio if she's cslled a cat.

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  8. identity crisis nga! oh well, if not for my little girl, I would not know Hello Kitty and to her HK is a cat, end of discussion.

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  9. Identity crisis indeed! As I'm on a group of runner friends, we joked that Hello Kitty is not a cat, she is a runner (because there's a Hello Kitty run, and hopefully we have one here in the Philippines!)

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    1. And I want the hello kitty Cafe (I eat more than I run). ;)

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  10. The news devastated an office friend and "destroyed" her childhood. Hehe. Sorry, I couldn't relate - I was never fond of the cat, erm, the not-cat. She's still cute anyway and the news didn't ruin anything for me. Well, except maybe adding confusion since she apparently has a pet cat. Armf.

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    1. Haha. She really has some die hard fans. And even them were blind-sided.

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  11. Awww love Hello Kitty! I used to collect those tiny kitties in high school!

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  12. I remembered collecting Hello Kitty stuff too when I was little. I think she has that charm that even grown ups love to collect her.:)

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  13. I love hello kitty but it didn't get to a point na talagang naging collector ako. mahirap na, makabutas bulsa! hihihi!

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  14. I'm happy to know that Hello Kitty is not a cat :) I hate cats e.

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    1. Dami kong tawa. This is the most unique comment. Kaw lang happy talaga.

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  15. I like Hello Kitty, she's cute, but my daughters were not fond of her so much. Maybe because medyo mas high-graphics na ang pinapanood nila. Medyo masyado na daw pang baby si Hello Kitty. I'm glad kasi HK is too expensive.

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    1. Naku, ako naman afraid ako with the new collectible characters like lallaloopsy kasi super expensive din

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