Hello Kitty is not a kitty after all, the Los Angeles Times revealed Wednesday. Apparently she’s a girl, and she’s British. Twitter users flocked to the ubiquitous 140-character social media platform after the shocking news broke.
Christine R. Yano, an anthropologist from the University of Hawaii, made the disturbing discovery when she referred to Hello Kitty as a cat at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles. "I was corrected — very firmly," she told the LA Times. "That's one correction Sanrio [creator of the character] made for my script for the show [at the museum]. Hello Kitty is not a cat. She's a cartoon character. She is a little girl. She is a friend. But she is not a cat. She's never depicted on all fours. She walks and sits like a two-legged creature. She does have a pet cat of her own, however, and it's called Charmmy Kitty."
Hello Kitty is a mainstay in Japan's “culture of cute,” which is known as kawaii. She is the inspiration for a controversial Avril Lavigne song, and her expressionless mug has adorned countless types of merchandise.
Hello Kitty’s real name is Kitty White, and she apparently has a twin sister. In fact, there is a full back story to the iconic character. "She's a perpetual third-grader. She lives outside of London. I could go on,” Yano told the paper.
This blew minds for social media users who ignited the mini-blog Wednesday afternoon. Some of the comments were simple: “If Hello Kitty isn’t a cat, than everything I’ve ever known in a lie,” some people wrote.
Singer Josh Groban was in a state of denial after he heard the news.
Hello Kitty is a cat. She has whiskers and a cat nose. Girls don't look like that. Stop this nonsense.
— josh groban (@joshgroban) August 27, 2014
But the (seemingly) new finding inspired deeper questions. Like, why does Hello Kitty need to define herself?
Listen. Hello Kitty does not need to define herself for you. If she is a cat or person, it does not matter. She owes you nothing.
— Andre (@andredoesthings) August 27, 2014
A few more Twitter responses have been posted below:
I knew Hello Kitty wasn't a cat because I'm allergic to cats but I have wholly embraced Hello Kitty.
— Tim Allen (@TimDuffy) August 27, 2014
Hello Kitty not Cat > Batman not Bat
— DC Women Kicking Ass (@dcwomenkicknass) August 27, 2014
You know I'm going to search images of real life hello kitty now: pic.twitter.com/wWf1OTT94y
— Suzanne Young (@suzanne_young) August 27, 2014
Apparently, #HelloKitty is actually a little girl. My haiku reaction: I yearn for days past Simpler times when a Kitty Was just a Kitty
— Alex Shibutani (@AlexShibutani) August 27, 2014
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