Say it ain't so!
Other, yet-to-be-nearly-as-successful contenders include Spottie Dottie, a pink-frocked Dalmatian; Pandapple, a baby panda; My Melody, a rabbit; or TuxedoSam, a penguin.
Tondemonai deshoo. How do I account for my attachment to Hello (as I like to call her) and why I do not wish to see her deposed by these or any future creatures Sanrio dreams up? (Jewelpet?! Let's not even go there...)
1) We go back a long ways. I knew her before she became a global phenomenon and when she was just a cute kitty. Imagine venturing all the way to the Japans in the late 1980s to See the Elephant--and being greeted by Hello Kitty. I'm full of nostalgia for those days...
Kitty Hell blog)--but I came to enjoy the kawaii aesthetic the cat represents.
Hello Kitty Junkie blogger lists 15 reasons for why the cat brings her so much happiness. For me, 10 of them seem eminently reasonable:
- Hello Kitty reminds me of my childhood (youthful innocence).
- Hello Kitty reminds me of Japan.
- Hello Kitty loves everyone.
- Hello Kitty is a universal poster child for caring, sharing, happiness, friendship… And all that other good stuff.
- Hello Kitty embodies innocence, sentimentality and harmony.
- Hello Kitty just wants to be loved, trusted and respected.
- Hello Kitty is Japan’s official ambassador of tourism.
- Hello Kitty is a pop culture icon.
- Hello Kitty is a fashionista.
- UNICEF named Hello Kitty “Special Friend of Children.”
5) Following from 4), thank goodness Hello is nothing like Walt Disney characters. There's such a thing as having too much character. Mickey Mouse, Bambi, Lilo and Stitch: their stories get a little old after a while, and one grows weary of their company. Call it strange, but for me Hello Kitty will always be a Goddess of Blandness, and sometimes bland food is best, just what the doctor ordered. Like this blog's eponymous elephant, she deserves a longer life span than 36 years. Helloo!!!
UPDATE: Lady GaGa to the rescue! At the end of last year, GaGa went to London to shoot a campaign in celebration of the famous white cat's 35th birthday (note: the New York Times says that the brand is 36 years old--but that's okay, who's counting?). The photos have just been released (July 13, 2010), and as one might expect, they more than do justice to Hello's unique blend of Zen-plus-kitsch. Among GaGa's get-ups are some truly spectacular items: a gown adorned with stuffed Hello Kitty dolls, a bedazzled Hello Kitty belt, and some sky-high Hello Kitty-covered pumps. GaGa has also announced that these photos will feature on the cover of the special, limited-edition reissue of her hit album, The Fame. With support like that, we can safely say that reports of Hello's demise has been greatly exaggerated. Indeed, Sanrio has already reported a 30% boost in share performance.
Question: Do you agree that Hello Kitty deserves Treasured White Elephant status?