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Hello Kitty, Drugs and Violence: An Unlikely Friendship

Hello Kitty says: “I’m just a silly little gal who likes having fun and playing with friends.” Where then did everything go wrong? How did a symbol of love and connection wind up standing for the antithesis of what it was intended to? I believe the internet is to blame for it.

Kitty White is a little, round-faced, cartoon catlike female with black eyes, a yellow nose, no mouth, and a red bow perched on her left ear, created in 1974 by the Japanese retail company Sanrio and known globally as Hello Kitty. Sanrio insists that Hello Kitty is a girl, not a cat, despite the fact that she has feline traits such as pointed ears, whiskers, and a tail.

A Cutie Patootie

Kitty White (Yes, that’s her real name), the charming or frightening (depending on your perspective) Sanrio character, hails from London, is about five apples tall, and is a firm believer in the idealogy “you can never have too many friends.”(:3)

Hello Kitty sets the standard for the word "kawaii," which is a term that loosely translates to "cute" in Japanese. Loved and cherished by all, her characteristics, or absence of them, provide a sort of relatability that further her popularity. Kitty White's face doesn't even have a mouth, which contributes to her simplicity and makes her appealing to a wide range of people regardless of their age, gender, or region. (Despite the fact that Sanrio does not define her as a cat, she remains cute and adorable.)

“So, there are three messages in Hello Kitty…First is, you should be loved and you need to be nice to others to be loved. The ribbon represents human connections, we should get along with each other. Lastly, having no mouth means we need to express ourselves with our actions, not only by words. Those are the meanings.” ~Sanrio founder Shintaro Tsuji

In 1975, a coin purse would be the first thing on which she would enchant the world with her appearance. In addition to having a large number of her own shows on TV, comics, a web manga, an album, and video games, you can find her on at least 50,000 items now (and these are just the licenced ones).

The three meanings of Hello Kitty. You deserve to be loved. Ribbon is a symbol of connections between people. No voice speaks; actions are more convincing than words. — Shintaro Tsuji, creator of the Hello Kitty

I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream

So, She's simple and expressionless, and anybody can project practically any emotion onto her and the internet exists… get where I'm going with this? The internet is vast and the people here come from all walks of life. As a result, memes may be created on anything and be about anything, from a lovely Hello Kitty playing with pals to a Hello Kitty slaughtering people while popping drugs.

Dark, I know but this is the sad reality. Thanks to numerous social media trends, (mostly memes on Instagram, TikTok, 4chan, and the like) people project their dark twisted fantasies or own lives onto the innocent little Kitty White. Some examples of these memes would be; showing Hello Kitty ingesting illicit substances, showing her committing crimes like theft or murder, showing Hello Kitty using weapons and/or being in gangs, I can go on but you get the just.

hello kitty does not do drugs or carry a knife, she does not engage in illegal activities. she is a nice cat who likes apple pie and enjoys baking cookies with her friends. leave her alone.

Of course, it doesn't help that these behaviours or sayings are further enforced due to real-world occurrences such as the infamous Hello Kitty Murder case in Hong Kong (read at your own risk) or the numerous drugs that are shaped in the form of Kitty White’s face.

Oh, and that’s not all, recently, a new trend has emerged, “The Hello Kitty Gir”, an archetype of individuals defined by the internet as “emotionally unstable, deranged/psychotic and potentially violent e-girl.” (I don't regret my Hello Kitty tattoo.) So many wrong associations for someone whose creator intended her to be the personification of love.

Penny for a Kitty

The internet's ongoing reinforcement of these behaviours might be viewed as a negative feedback loop in which producing memes, committing violence, and using drugs in the name of Hello Kitty becomes self-reinforcing. As a result, memes continue to proliferate and become increasingly bizarre over time.

So, what's my take on it? I'm just a goofy guy who enjoys the Hello Kitty message and, of course, I can't tell anyone what to do or not do. I only provide viewpoints & facts and let others determine what their own perspective on a situation is. Remember, you're living, laughing, and loving as long as you're having fun and not hurting others.


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