Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Defining Cuteness

Cute Cats
(Poor little guy.)

Hello Kitty, as I'm sure you're all familiar with, is a Japanese marketing campaign which relates heavily to Kawaii culture. The goal of the marketing is to create a character which appears cute, harmless and loveable. To this end the company which created Hello Kitty, Sanrio, decided to use a cat as their mascot for its ability to signify all of the above aspects of kawaii culture.

(How does it eat without a mouth?)

In recent years Sanrio has produced everything with the Hello Kitty logo from backpacks to snackfoods but what is most interesting from a theoretical sense is the production of costumes for cats which allow for a customer's cat to look like Hello Kitty. This is an excellent example of Baudrillard's procession of simulacra as a model of the real begins to replace the real once it relates more closely to the signified concept both the real and the model are trying to represent.

In this instance Hello Kitty was based off of a cat because cats were meant to be the most cute and loveable creatures in the real world, but now when seeking to make your cat more cute and loveable you have the option to purchase a Hello Kitty costume so the cat can be as adorable as the fictional cat who was created after its own image.

Overall I think all costumes for animals are silly and probably make the cat feel like a total jackass, but at least in this instance the costume makes a statement about simulation and Kawaii culture.

(I call this one "Someone help me")

1 comment:

  1. Holy Hello Kitty Batman. I had no idea that they sold a costume of the cartoon, and now I feel sad. I feel bad for the cat, and worse for the ass holes that perpetuate their own beloved animals theoretical replacement without even knowing it. Who knew that unsuspecting Hello Kitty was such an attention hog, trying to eradicate the permanency of the thing that it once strove to be...and now is, or always already was.


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