Oh For Goodness Sake, Hello Kitty Doesn’t Have A Mouth.

I’m not supposed to give my daughter girlie toys.  According to the unwritten, but you’re supposed to know them, modern-day rules of parenting, parents of little girls are not supposed to encourage them to do typical “girlie” things like wear pink, pretend to be Princesses, and play with dolls with a stripper-worthy tit-to-waist ratio like Barbie or those whore’ish looking Bratz dolls I saw today at Toys R Us.

Instead, our daughters should play with gender-neutral toys in hopes they’ll grow up with a positive self image, see themselves as something beyond pretty and aspire to something more in life than having a stripper-worthy tit-to-waist ratio.

The problem, as most parents of girls quickly realize, is that little girls really like gender-specific toys.  Self-image isn’t nearly as fun as styling your own Barbie’s hair.

Which leads us to Hello Kitty.

My two-year-old pink lover has shown an early obsession and passion for Ms. Kitty herself. In fact, when faced with a Hello Kitty image, my daughter nearly hyperventilates. This invariably leads to her running around the store, house or friend’s house for ten to thirty hours screaming, “Kitttttttteeeeeeee!”  If there is such a thing as a toddler orgasm, she’s having one.  I half expect my kid to say, “I’ll have what she’s having,” as if she’s in “When Harry Met Sally.”

So, we’ve gone full Kitty.  We have Kitty cups, Kitty shirts, a Hello Kitty swim towel (with Kitty hood, natch), a Hello Kitty sweatsuit and will be receiving (it’s on backorder) a very special sequined Hello Kitty swimsuit.

But it wasn’t until today, in my house full of Kitty, that I realized that Hello Kitty doesn’t have a mouth.  One of the most iconic little girl toys is a fucking mute, by design.  Some toy manufacturer (is there a Mr. Sanrio?) sat in his office and looked at one Kitty mock-up after another and thought, “Something’s just not right.” And after months of contemplation, Mr. Toy Manufacturer realized that what was wrong with Hello Kitty was that she could talk.  And so, Ms. Kitty lost her mouth. And, in turn, her voice.

And I just can’t quite move past it.

Honestly, I think most modern day parenting rules are bullshit.  Parents are supposed to be obsessed with what our kids eat while encouraging them to be open-minded about food. Little girls shouldn’t like fairy costumes but should feel the burden of letting an entire gender down because they actually do.  It’s okay if little boys want to crash into things and play “action,” but should fully expect teachers and parents to say, “Oh he’s just a boy” every time said boy asks to play Ninja. And parents of little girls should think twice before admitting they’ve 1) bought their daughter a Barbie and 2) played it with her.

But, at least Barbie gets to talk. Sure, Barbie’s probably talking about how she hasn’t eaten in days and how she’s worried one of her implants just burst, but at least she can talk. Hello Kitty is just a submissive little cat who, according to her bio (and yes she has a bio), likes “shiny things.”

To my daughter, it’s just a cute little cat with a bow in her hair. But to me, she’s everything I worked hard not to be. If there’s one quality I could give my own daughter, it would be the ability to speak up. I’ll take mouthy over mute anytime.

So if my daughter becomes a weight-obsessed teenager, you can blame me for buying her that Barbie. But if my daughter becomes a strong, opinionated grown-up, you can credit her.  Hopefully, she’ll play with Hello Kitty without becoming Hello Kitty.

At least that’s what I’ll keep telling her.



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23 thoughts on “Oh For Goodness Sake, Hello Kitty Doesn’t Have A Mouth.

  1. Yes, my cherubs have mouthy down to a science. Which is sometimes frustrating. Other times humiliating and often HIGH-LARIOUS. But, I’m glad they can stand up for themselves – unlike HK who can’t say “I hate math” like Barbie. Plus, what language would she talk in? Meow in Japanese?

    1. Hi Tracy-
      I’m worried that if Hello Kitty had a mouth, she’d just giggle. Which might be worse than not speaking at all. Thanks for writing and for stopping by. Love your site. Stay in touch.

  2. Crap you’re right. A Barbie with an anatomically impossible figure (that I was SO SO disappointed I never achieved) is still better than a Hello Kitty with a ball gag. Permission to go Barbie crazy?

    1. Amy, Permission granted. Get the remote control car. If your daughter doesn’t like it, at least you and Dave will. BTW; Loved your crack post. Carraige Before Marriage is getting sassy and I like it!

      Keep on doing what you’re doing!

  3. HK has a cartoon, although it is horribly cheesy, she does talk. With the number of times my daughter watched them, I would prefer she didn’t have a mouth. Just FYI

  4. Hate to mess your world up even more but… hello kitty isn’t even a kitty… she’s a girl dressed as a kitty.. work that out!!! Seriously look it up the guy who created her is angry that ppl think she’s a cat???? Like it’s really obvious that she’s a girl????? Xxxxxx

  5. It’s worse than that. The company that produces Hello Kitty states emphatically that she isn’t a cat at all. Identity crisis, anyone?

  6. Hello Kitty does have a mouth. She actually speaks in her cartoons. To be honest she is actually a little girl playing dress up. Go check out more about Kitty. She is by far my least favorite of the Sanrio characters and there are a ton, but kitty is still ok by me.

  7. I say re-invent Hello Kitty by sewing, drawing, bedazzling (or whatever you can immagine) to create a “voice” on everything she is on. Have at it!
    And for the record my sisters and I were the toughest girls on the block and played with Barbie dolls, We even made a Annie Lennox version. Amazing what you can do with scissors and food coloring.
    Power on, momma!

  8. I wouldn’t worry. My daughter loves Hello Kitty until last year. Your daughter will outgrow that interest. And even if she doesn’t, she’ll be fine! Screw what society says, let your daughter be who she is! That will help her self esteem!

  9. It scared the crap outta me when I read an article not to long ago that states hello kitty is not actually a kitty, but a little girl. This makes her even more terrifying

  10. If you look up some recent news, the maker of Hello Kitty threw a fit because hello kitty isNOT a kitty but actually a little girl who OWNS a kitty. *mind blown* I do believe that the maker is a bit off her rocker

  11. I just learned this, but. HK is not a cat. She is a girl in a costume. So I’m assuming she has a mouth inside the costume.

  12. hello kitty is not actually a cat. Seriously look it up. Hello kitty is supposed to be a girl as redonkulous as it sounds.

  13. I realise this is an old post, but my dd got a DVD of HK out of the library, and she DID talk. It was in an irritating american accent (sorry, English only here!) with a hint of Japanese and was mainly about her and her equally annoying sister eating their vegetables. If that’s her voice, she can shut the hell up!

  14. Dude, Hello Kitty TOTALLY talks! She has numerous movies and an old animated series. In a lot of japanese art they remove the mouth, even on boy characters. So no worries!

  15. According to what I recently read, Hello Kitty isn’t even a cat. According to her creator, she’s a little girl (?!). She apparently has a pet cat herself. Ah, the weirdness of all anime-related things is incredible.

  16. This is one thing I will flat out say you’re wrong about. Kitty doesn’t have a mouth so that a child has the ability to give her a voice and give her emotions and play with her and through her and give her the full spectrum of ideas, hopes, dreams, disappointments and just getting thrown across a room without looking HAPPY about being thrown across a room.

    The issue with nearly all girl’s toys is that perfect little smile, covered in thick lipstick, saying that if she’s not smiling, she’s not cute, and if she’s not cute she’s not desirable.

    Kitty moves beyond the need for a mouth – she has a voice: Your daughter’s.

  17. Actually she does talk, there are cartoons and she talks and likes gardening and friends and all that.

    as for raising girls, I have 3 (hence knowing too much about hello kitty) my philosophy is to let them what they like, they love princesses and pink, but also dinosaurs and fly guy and science. I teach them that the most useless compliment anyone can give them. I think telling girls they can’t play with dolls or wear pink is just as oppressive as saying that they have to.

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