Archive for May, 2009

Somebody please explain to me this whole fascination with Hello Kitty©. As far as I can see, she’s a cutesy little cartoon character created to amuse elementary school-aged children (ostensibly girls, but who am I to judge?) and make obscene amounts of money for Sanrio. But over the last few years, I’ve seen college-aged (and older) women with HK merchandise, like purses, backpacks, jewelry and sneakers. Celebrities wearing HK pendants, rings, tees, were no big deal. I mean, does anyone over the age of 16 really look to Miley Cyrus, Hillary Duff or even Cameron Diaz for fashion tips? I thought it was odd – perhaps a last grasp at innocence and youth – but nothing more.

Apparently, however, the powers of evil have taken control. Now you can buy not only innocuous items such as those listed above, but items of a much more adult nature. Some of you are already familiar with the HK vibrator, but HK maxi-pads and tampons? Or the HK guns, real and fake, including (I kid you not) an AK-47, an AR-15 and a Glock? What exactly is the purpose of an HK assault rifle – to shoot PowerPuff girls out of the sky? Granted, Sanrio does not license these, but the point is that they are easily available, and apparently there is a market for them.

I guess the tarot cards are no more obnoxious than other cute decks (although if anyone suggested doing a reading for me with HK cards I think “the look” would be in order), but the bong is certainly an interesting item. I can hear the pre-Christmas conversation now: “Mommy, I want Hello Kitty© for Christmas.” “You already have everything they make, honey.” “No I don’t – what’s a bong?”

Most pernicious of all, and the reason for this rant,is the HK Fender© Stratocaster guitar, available in pink or black with matching strap and carrying case (http://www.fenderhellokitty.com/gear.html). That just makes me want to cry. Would Joan Jett, Lita Ford or Jennifer Batten use a Hello Kitty© guitar? I think not. Can’t see Melissa Etheridge or Bonnie Raitt using one either. And nowhere in my wildest dreams can I picture Nancy Wilson, Sheryl Crow or Gabriela Quintero playing an HK Dreadnought. Envision a dark, candlelit club with someone passionately playing a righteous flamenco. Is the guitar pink with Hello Kitty© on it?

That’s what I thought.

So why, in the name of all that’s holy, would young girls/young women/anybody striving to be a guitar player and emulate any of the aforementioned women, want an HK guitar? Come to think of it, why would Fender stoop to making such a product – are sales that bad?

This obsessive trend towards cutsification is unsettling. I have nothing against bongs, thongs, tarot cards, guns, maxi-pads, vibrators, guitars, or any of the other items in and of themselves. In fact, I have some of them (I’ll leave it to you to figure out which ones). I do have an issue with making adult objects desirable to children, along with a complete lack of comprehension as to the appeal of objects designed for adults decorated with childish images. I just don’t get it.


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