Tuesday, June 19, 2007

My Body, My Hello Kitty













In my long list of dubious honors that include many more participation ribbons than anything red, white, or blue (remember those godforsaken participation ribbons -- orange is the color of failure!), I would have to admit that I was an officer in a Hello Kitty club in the third grade. My friend K, a flaming queen by age five, had decided that we needed a devotion to our favorite new icon. We called ourselves Friends of Hello Kitty! and our main activity, besides gossiping, was working on sticker books. We'd hide out as far as the teachers would allow us to go, our doings as clandestine and serious as a Black Panther's meeting and dissect what made Hello Kitty so special. We'd been fans of Snoopy for as long as we could remember and had lusted after a Disco Snoopy which cost way too much in K's catalogue of doll clothes, and we'd dream about having the fifteen dollars needed to send away for the John Travolta Snoopy, the Snoopy we could make dance. But Hello Kitty was even cooler and more rare -- the most we could find were a couple of erasers at the local Hallmark where the old biddy who ran the place watched us with a death glare to make sure we didn't steal anything. Now Hello Kitty is everywhere, although I only have a few t-shirts with her on them as an ode to my former glory. We, I might point out, Friends of Hello Kitty!, were there from the beginning.
Various writers have pointed out that part of the genius of Hello Kitty is that she has no mouth and therefore cannot speak. There are those who would say that this makes her a perfect female in our patriarchal culture. The only form of expression she has is her outfits which take her various places -- the beach or school or Tokyo or Madrid. I'm a little less cynical on the nature of her popularity. She's beloved because you never know what she's feeling, no smile or frownie face or pout. She's the affable friend, the one who listens to your sorrows. She goes about her days with a certain kind of grace; she can be dressed for any occasion in a flash. Never tired or worried, she can provide comfort in any situation. She adorns women and children alike, dressed as we would like to be dressed, telling the world in an instant where we'd be if we could be anywhere but here.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"I dress for women and undress for men." Angie Dickinson
Cocktail Hour
Drinking novel suggestion: White Noise Don DeLillo
Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Tuesday!

15 comments:

Joe said...

Did you like White Noise?

I started it a few years ago and gave up after a hundred pages.

I haven't read any other Dom DeLillo...

the walking man said...

Personally i never won any ribbons of any kind or was allowed in any secret clubs or whatever but you can bet your ass the old lady wished i had all of the characteristics of Hello Kitty especially the no mouth.

Sheila said...

Hello Kitty rocks!

RIP Farmer Jack said...

They have Hello Kitty breakfast snacks at Krogers in the cereal aisle. Watch for the 10 for 10 sale--quite a bargain!

Anthony Burgess said...

Sir Salmon Rushday! Way to go, England! Freak out the towel heads! Kill, Harry, Kill!

Mamalujo said...

I just finished "Falling Man" last night. My first Delillo and I don't know yet if I'll read more. Perhaps I should wait a bit and read it again.

Happy Bunny, anyone?

Charles Gramlich said...

hmnn, I'm not really all that familiar with Hello kitty. I did win a blue ribbon for barbecueing one time though.

JAM said...

I won a trophy for a photograph I took one time. And I won a fishing rod and reel in a Father's Day give away from some sporting goods store in Bossier City, Louisiana. That's pretty much it.

I think Hello Kitty is cute. That's a great story about the club. If you ever decide to get musical, you ought to buy yourself one of these Hello Kitty guitars.

Spiffy, eh?

JR's Thumbprints said...

Gotta love that policewoman. She should've been a pin-up if you ask me.

tui said...

Hello Kitty fascinates me. Just the fact that they make EVERYTHING, from haute couture to TVs to vibrators. that brand is crazy! Nice post.
t

Cheri said...

I have sheets, blankets, underwear, stickers, pens... the works

eric313 said...

to be anywhere but here. How gracefull, my friend. It is so sad, everything that you say and how so much of it is so. Glad you have a mouth, glad you have the fingers to type the words that inspire greatness in your students.

Susan Miller said...

You have given me a new appreciation for Hello Kitty. I just had never thought about it that much.

Rodney Dangerfield said...

Hey, when it comes to Tui, I'd like to change my name to Hello Kitty or maybe smack, if you know what I mean. I'd like to visit her methadone clinic, if you know what I mean.

Dan said...

I agree with you. Hello Kitty is a blank slate ... she's whatever you want her to be. She's you, me, everyone.

She's a mirror.