I’ve always thought there was something suss about Hello Kitty. Sure, there are obvious feminist issues with a female cartoon character who has no mouth. If you actually were to say hello to this kitty, you’d get no response. (Although to be fair, I discovered today at the website of her theme park, Puroland, that her boyfriend has no mouth either. That must be rather inconvenient in the bedroom.) But Hello Kitty’s evil extends far beyond spreading everywhere like a cute, ribbon-adorned cancerous tumour. Now, it turns out, she explodes.
The news has been dominated by stories of exploding Dell laptops, and massive battery recalls for Apple laptops (including my own, hooray) and ThinkPads. But Sanrio, the evil-genius company behind the mammoth Kitty Empire, has also had a problem with spontaneous explosions. They’ve been been forced to recall a certain model of Hello Kitty doll because it explodes. This particular toy contains a warmable heat-pad (the red thing in the illustration) that can be inserted within the doll so that it keeps the kiddies all warm and toasty. But in some instances that cuddly warmth can go a little too far when the liquid erupts from the container, scalding the unfortunate Kitty-lover.
On top of Hello Kitty corrupting young girls into an unhealthy obsession with pink, cuteness and silence, this is too much. (Maybe Badtz-Maru is to blame?) I vote we immediately remove Hello Kitty from our shores, perhaps by classifying her as a munition. No dolls, no cartoons, and certainly none of the incredibly kitsch Fender guitars they’re about to produce (PDF link). Hello Kitty makes the idea of giving impressionable young girls Barbies seem downright responsible.
Incidentally, here’s Sanrio’s official line on the mouth thing: “Why doesn’t Hello Kitty have a mouth? Hello Kitty speaks from her heart. She is Sanrio’s ambassador to the world who isn’t bound to one certain language.”
Sure, the dolls may explode, but I reckon the major health danger from Hello Kitty is still nausea.