The “Hello Kitty” Craze + Kitty Hell

What and who is Hello Kitty?  Why all the fanaticism???

“Hello Kitty is a fictional character produced by the Japanese company Sanrio, first designed by Yuko Shimizu.  She is portrayed as a female white Japanese bobtail cat with a red bow.  The character’s first appearance on an item, a vinyl coin purse, was introduced in Japan in 1974 and brought to the United States in 1976.  She is 39.”

~ Lesia Marie from ChaCha.com

Here is more background info:
“What Is Hello Kitty?” (Ask Jeeves)
“Hello Kitty Is 35 Years Old!” (by Time with photos)

Anyway, today, Hello Kitty is almost 40 years old!  Unbelievable!  You might first check out the official website at HelloKitty.com, which has lots of cute stuff.  From the perspective of this blogger, though, here are a couple of products that stand out on that website:

KISS x Hello Kitty Jrs Tee: Demon:  Juniors T-Shirt
Kuromi 14oz Ceramic Mug: Cherries:  “free-spirited Kuromi surrounded by skulls and cherries”

By the way, although there are those who point to some of this company’s products as sexist, the company states it is not sexist!  Hello Kitty markets its products to different genders, regardless of whether the Hello Kitty icon is identified as a female or not.   Hello Kitty started marketing to men a few years ago.  Quite frankly, sometimes these products can be downright age- and gender-confusing.

hello-kitty-mac-manOK, so next, check out the WAY more interesting (amusing? disturbing?) Hello Kitty Hell website.  (Later you might check out the Facebook page and Twitter site.)  The website is labeled as “One Man’s Life With Cute Overload.”  Apparently, the blogger’s wife loves Hello Kitty; and the blogger’s readers constantly send him Hello Kitty information.  Consequently, his website contains a huge collection of photos of Hello Kitty stuff — some vintage products and NONE for sale — along with the blogger’s reports.  On regular occasions, the blogger makes humorous referrals to the “evil feline,” as well as finding himself in “Kitty Hell” (again).  The website allows reader responses — all discussing the Hello Kitty culture.  You can literally spend hours on this website!  The number — and type — of Hello Kitty products is mind blowing!  Over the decades, Hello Kitty has definitely been affecting our culture!  And this is all over a Kitty who, by the way, has NO mouth.  (Why doesn’t she have a mouth???  Dare I make a suggestion?)

The following are just a scant-few of the many notable links and photos from the Kitty Hell website.

Articles (with photos):
“Hello Kitty Katy Perry MAC Corset”
“Hello Kitty Lady Gaga [Markus & Indrani Photos]”
“Hello Kitty for Men – Not Just For Girls Anymore”
“Flavored Condoms,” “Condoms” and “Vibrator Reborn”
“Hello Kitty Love Hotel Bondage”, “Ball Gag” and “Hello Kitty S&M Flogger”
“Weapons,” “Hello Kitty Bombs In Boxes” and “Knife Set”
“Hello Kitty Cigarettes” and “Hello Kitty Nicotine Patches”

Hello Kitty The Last Supper

Hello Kitty cross

Hello Kitty is undoubtedly an industry giant, which appears to be expanding.  Until recently, I mistakenly thought Hello Kitty was just for babies and young girls.  Now, without trying to sound like an insensitive “prude,” what is the Hello Kitty message?  How has this popular brand been affecting our children and young adults?  How has it been affecting cultures around the world?

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