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La Gioconda

September 18, 2010

Cancer makes people do some wild and irrational things, which is, I think, one reason that I heard of a rumor that some parent somewhere made a pack with the devil resulting in the ongoing popularity of that adorable cat and her set of adorable accessories.

I like Hello Kitty as much as the next person. Unless the next person happens to be a 20-something Japanese woman, in which case I bow in acknowledgment that I have barely scratched the surface of Hello Kitty fandom. Nevertheless, when I am faced with the choice between an array of similar everyday items, such as pencils or notebooks, I will often choose the one with Hello Kitty on it, and I do, at age 41, wear the occasional Hello Kitty t-shirt with pride, although the pride may have more to do with the excellent work of my plastic surgeon.

My wonderful daughter also likes Hello Kitty.  We lived in Tokyo, Japan when she was a baby and moved to Dallas, Texas when she was 19 months old.  Hello Kitty was the only point of commonality between the two cities in the world view of a young toddler, and her love affair with Hello Kitty dates from that point.

What’s to like about the cat with the bow and the mysterious expression?  She’s cute.  She has an aesthetic simplicity.  She’s surrounded by happy things, and yet her lack of a smile allows us to attribute to her whatever we may be feeling at any given time.  She’s the perfect listener who takes in all we have to say, and never interrupts.  She’s not part of a larger context or message, like the Teletubbies,  Barbie, or My Little Pony.  She just is.  Cute.

Nevertheless I found this cake absolutely laugh-out-loud hilarious.

From → Uncategorized

  1. Mary Knapp permalink

    Well, it’s easy to keep from smiling when you don’t have a mouth. She is the epitome of the fantasy female — wide eyed innocence, and no back talk.

    I’m glad you’re indulging your Hello Kitty fandom, given that your early feminist, consciousness raised mother prevented Barbie or HK from entering your sphere. (you might have had a HK lunchbox that someone gave you.)

    Don’t get me wrong…..I looooove Hello Kitty!

  2. Caroline Kirkpatrick permalink

    Wow…I learn something new about people everyday. Never in a million years did I think Hello Kitty was even on your radar, Elizabeth.:-) It is very interesting reading your write-up about Hello Kitty because I remember the first time I realized how popular she was was the year I moved to Miami and met you (the ’79-’80 school year). I remember 6th grade being the first time that I didn’t feel like a little kid any longer. I barely played with my Barbie dolls (as I had in 5th grade so often after school) and everyone seemed so “preteen” in our grade that year even though 6th grade was part of the elementary school rather than middle school. Yet, that year, the only sign I had that I was still surrounded by young kids (rather than people on the brink of adolescence) was the Hello Kitty rage amongst the girls in our grade. You had girls sporting Jordache and Sassoon jeans and shirt while carrying a Hello Kitty three-ring binder….too funny!:)

  3. Laura Charron permalink

    Confession: at 55, I too am a Hello Kitty fan…I think living in Japan does that to you. I try to keep my Kitty gear at home, in my office: my little HK doll in kimono, my HK remote/cell phone holder in which I keep my reading glasses, my HK phone charm dangling from my desk light.

    I was stunned to find in Paris that Hello Kitty is a fancy-pants brand, sold in the fancy-pants Victoria Couture shops!
    Never actually seen anyone in the store.


    ps: 1€=US$1

  4. joel permalink

    I have a soft spot in my heart for Hello Kidney.

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