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Avril Lavigne’s cultural appropriation of Hello Kitty widely condemned

Avril Lavigne Hello KittyIt didn’t take long for bloggers to react to Avril Lavigne’s Hello Kitty.

Despite its title, you won’t find the cute, cuddly and fluffy character gracing this video, although I’m sure there are a few perverts lurking out there who fantasized about that.

Instead you’ll find four largely emotionless, do I dare say inscrutable Japanese women, lurking in the background pulsating their bodies behind Lavigne’s every gyration.

From Billboard to the Huffington Post to Angry Asian Man the video was widely panned. Some compared it to Gwen Stephani’s Harajuku Girls from ten years ago.

Personally I don’t find Hello Kitty as offensive as Harajuku Girls, but the biggest objection I have to Lavigne’s latest is its a poor representation of Hello Kitty and even a poorer representation of Japanese culture. The Japanese women in the background are nothing more than window dressing.  I’m not even sure if its cultural appropriation (or should that be cultural misappropriation). Its just simply bad. 

That’s my take, whats yours.

You can watch both Hello Kitty and Harajuku Girls below.


  1. RE: Avril Lavigne cultural appropriation of Hello Kitty: Didn’t Katy Perry get called out for something like this with her American Music Awards performance some time ago? Asians are not appealing enough to represent themselves how they want to be represented in mainstream media, but they sure make good stage props and models to yellowface.


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