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Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Hello Kitty (But Were Afraid to Ask)

September 4, 2014

You’ve probably heard by now the bizarre news that Hello Kitty isn’t, you know, a kitty. Here’s a look at the “scandal,” and some more interesting stuff about the cartoon character.

  • Hello Kitty FactsAnthropologist Christine R. Yano recently made a somewhat shocking discovery while she was curating an exhibit about Hello Kitty at Los Angeles’ Japanese American National Museum. Unbeknownst to her and millions of others, Hello Kitty isn’t actually a cat. She was informed of the error by some representatives from Sanrio, the company that owns the character. But HK isn’t quite human either. Sanrio says she’s akin to Mickey Mouse, an anthropomorphized cartoon with a vaguely biological makeup. Oddly enough, Hello Kitty has a pet cat that looks almost exactly like her named Charmmy Kitty.
  • Here’s a brief version of the character’s somewhat complicated backstory. Hello Kitty was born in 1974, which means she turns 40 this year…or she would if she wasn’t “stuck in time” as a third grader. She’s British and lives outside of London. Her real name is Kitty White and her parents are George and Mary White. Hello Kitty also has a twin sister and her birthday is November 1, which makes her a Scorpio.
  • Hello Kitty doesn’t have a mouth. According to Sanrio, it’s because “[She] speaks from her heart. She’s Sanrio’s ambassador to the world and isn’t bound to any particular language.”
  • In addition to countless products, there’s a Hello Kitty-themed restaurant in Taipei, Taiwan. The country also has a Hello Kitty maternity hospital.
  • In honor of the character’s 40th birthday, one of EVA Air’s passenger jets will been retrofitted with a Hello Kitty theme. The “Hand-in-Hand’ jet includes a Hello Kitty mural on the exterior and special HK cabin features and service items.
  • Kiss Hello KittyHello Kitty has appeared in several cartoon shows but none of them are as crazy as this one. The Hub Network’s KISS x Hello Kitty will feature “four characters living their rock ‘n’ roll dreams [by] bringing pink anarchy to every situation they are in.” KISS bassist Gene Simmons will serve as an executive producer.
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