You can love Hello Kitty but why can’t I?

 

Hey there Hello Kitty lovers, how are you going?  I hope you’re coping well.  I know how difficult it is but you’re doing a great job trying to suppress your love for this adorable kitten. Don’t worry now, your suffering will soon be put to an end.   The withdrawals will become more and more infrequent. Your pain and misery will be put to an end.  No longer will you have to struggle with the urge to google “Hello Kitty”, visit the Sanrio website or make a trip to Chinatown to get your Hello Kitty fix.  Over time you’ll even forget your love for her and her family; Mama, Papa and her twin sister Mimi and they will be just a distant memory.  Oh, please don’t cry.  No no, don’t be sad. It’s all for the best.  How else are you supposed to fit in as an Asian girl growing up in Australia, you don’t see anyone else in your class with an obsession with a cat without a mouth do you?

I know the difficulties you’re facing because I was once that girl.  I grew up in the Inner West of Sydney, where many migrant families of a range of ethnicities settled as they made Australia their home.  No one cared of your cultural background and what interests were linked with it. No one cared that the Islander children smelled of coconut oil and no one cared about my love for Hello Kitty. Then high school came along, new surroundings and new people, it was survival of the fittest. Suddenly the people around me cared about what I wore on Mufti Days and what pencil case I had. Soon, my Hello Kitty singlet tops were at the bottom of my wardrobe and never to be seen again. After all, at the age of 13, no one wants to be seen as different, everyone just wants to fit in.  You’re nodding your head.  Oh, you’re going through that now.  So you understand what I mean by my embarrassment of my “Asian-ness”?  So, in the end that Hello Kitty pencil case my cousins had sent from Thailand was stashed away in a draw and replaced with one sporting the “Billabong” logo across it’s face.

Hundreds of dollars of Hello Kitty memorabilia has gone to waste.  Yes, I wasn’t kidding when I said I had an obsession. I don’t think hiding our love for Hello Kitty is the key.

Look at her now.  She’s the cool cat that everyone wants to know and love.  McDonald’s Singapore embraced her and her spunky boyfriend Dear Daniel, producing a wedding collection featuring the characters in traditional wedding costumes of different cultures.  MAC Cosmetics is collaborating with everyone’s favourite character and now Hello Kitty has her own make up line. Worldwide, she’s been embraced.  They’ve got Sanrio stores in Spain, Hello Kitty credit cards exist in Hong Kong and even the Gilmore Girls own a Hello Kitty Waffle Maker. What about Australia?  I know fellow Hello Kitty lovers, Kitty Fever has yet to hit our shores.  One day Hello Kitty will take this country by storm.  And when she does, we will no longer have to suppress our love and we’ll proudly declare, “We loved her first!”

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