A lot of people on the Internet right now just don't know how to be. You see, they've just had the very fabric of their assumed previous knowledge ripped out from under them. Hello Kitty is not a cat, you guys. She's a little girl. I don't know. And she's also British? What the eff kinda lies have we been living all these years?
This is the weirdest "scandal" I've heard of in quite a while, but it's true: The LA Times recently ran an article on an upcoming Hello Kitty retropsective, and interviewed anthropologist and curator Christine R. Yano. Things got weird when it came to talk about what exactly Hello Kitty is. As relayed by The LA Times:
When Yano was preparing her written texts for the exhibit at the Japanese American National Museum, she says she described Hello Kitty as a cat. "I was corrected — very firmly," she says. "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."
I just.. what the fuck? I have so many questions. Since when does being a cartoon character bar you from being an animal? Is Mickey Mouse not a mouse? Is Goofy not a dog? That'd certainly explain why Goofy also has a pet dog, but it also throws the whole Disney mythology into chaos.
So yeah, Hello Kitty is a human — and also a British little girl. From Yano:
Hello Kitty emerged in the 1970s, when the Japanese and Japanese women were into Britain. They loved the idea of Britain. It represented the quintessential idealized childhood, almost like a white picket fence. So the biography was created exactly for the tastes of that time.
I know too much now, and yet so, so little.
The rest of the Internet seems confused, too — or at least twitter does:
And why the fuck does she have whiskers?