Avril's "Hello Kitty" racist?
In the past 48 hours, there's been a lot of buzz about this Avril Lavigne PV (promotional video) release "Hello Kitty". There have even been some accusations that Lavigne was "racist" for releasing this video.
In my opinion, the PV was a stupid narrow stereotypical look at one very small aspect of Japanese pop culture and overall was ridiculous. But it was not racist. I do not subscribe to the notion that Japanese fashion and other icons of pop culture should be off-limits to those who are not Japanese. Try telling all of the girls (and some guys) out there who dress in lolita fashion that because they are not Japanese, they are racists for dressing that way. Tell someone from the west that because they listen to K-POP, that they hate Asians. Tell it to BBC Radio 1...
Back to the PV.... Even the title of this song suggests a westernized Japanese pop stereotype. This song had absolutely nothing to do with the Sanrio character but people automatically associate Hello Kitty (the Sanrio character) with Japan. In some ways, I feel that HK is more popular in western nations (e.g. the USA) than it is in Japan. In Japan, there are many different characters like HK but because of the massive marketing, that is the one that the west is used to.
I know many non-Japanese people who support the Japanese entertainment and/or fashion industries but are not Japanese. People such as Stephanie Yanez, Chelsea Chavis and even myself. Fortunately, I have never been called "racist" for programming J1 for the past 13 years. If J1 was to ever be declared by the Asian or Asian American community, then I demand that Inter-FM in Japan immediately go off the air because there might be someone out there who thinks that Japanese radio stations playing American/Western music is racist. Actually, most Japanese FM stations play a fair mix of Western pop songs along with JPOP. Yes, J1 plays the most J-POP.
A good friend of mine said it is all about respect for Japan. This is what sets us apart from Lavigne. We respect Japan.. she was downright tacky.
She's no Kyary.
Now, please excuse me while I go to SBY Airport to beg a mechanic to go into a Dash-8 and get me a barf bag...