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Hello Kitty has become a cult phenomenon, with fans buying clothing, accessories, toys and more related to the brand. However, fans are shocked to find out bombshell news on Thursday regarding the beloved character.
It turns out Hello Kitty creator Sanrio has confirmed she’s not even a cat – she’s a little girl named Kitty White with a pet kitty named Charmmy Kitty. She also doesn’t live in Japan, she’s from London.
"She has a twin sister. She's a perpetual third-grader. She lives outside of London. I could go on. A lot of people don't know the story and a lot don't care,” anthropologist from the University of Hawaii, Christine R. Yano, told the LA Times.
“But it's interesting because Hello Kitty emerged in the 1970s, when the Japanese and Japanese women were into Britain. They loved the idea of Britain. It represented the quintessential idealized childhood, almost like a white picket fence. So the biography was created exactly for the tastes of that time."
Yano will serve as the curator for the Japanese American National Museum's retrospective of Hello Kitty launching this fall in Los Angeles. She’s spent years studying the phenomenon and even wrote the book Pink Globalization: Hello Kitty's Trek Across the Pacific.
Yano said she was “firmly corrected” by Sanrio about the fact Hello Kitty is not a cat. As a result, it has taken Twitter by storm.
— Wendy Lester (@WendyWings) August 28, 2014
It's a cat. I don't care what anyone says. #HelloKitty
— Demetria Lucas (@abelleinbk) August 28, 2014
TRUST NO ONE. #HelloKitty
— Heidi N. Moore (@moorehn) August 27, 2014
We've been KITTYFISHED #hellokitty
— Eliza Bayne (@ElizaBayne) August 28, 2014
image via Jennifer Graylock/INFevents.com