• Fri, Mar 7 - 10:05 am ET

Hello Kitty Got A Playboy Makeover, Which Is Great Because 8-Year-Olds Need A Sexy Role Model

Hello Kitty got a sexy Playboy makeover...

Mirror, $69

Last night, my partner noted that a very decidedly millennial Internet thing is the “blank as blank” re-imagination. The Santa Claus as a horror filmBreaking Bad as a 1995 dramedy. Disney princesses as sloths. Your favorite childhood character who was definitely not supposed to represent an adult as a soft porn star. Wait, that isn’t something you want? Too bad, we now have Hello Kitty as a Playboy Bunny.

French retailer Colette decided that Ms. Kitty was getting a little dull and frumpy with her 40th birthday coming up, so it collaborated with Playboy to give her a sexy makeover, complete with bunny ears and everything. It’s Playboy‘s 60th birthday, so I suppose that goes along with the “younger female and older dude” thing that the magazine’s continuously had going on, eh?

According to Colette founder Sarah Adelman, not everybody thought it was a good idea–at first.

“People thought I was crazy, but now everyone agrees they look amazing together.”

I would argue that not everyone agrees on that; perhaps by “everyone,” though, she means “everyone who works for and with me who are sort of required to comply with whatever I decide.” Designer Guillaume Henry is one of those folks who agrees:

“I believe that opposites attract. They’re both icons, but they have nothing in common. I’m always more intrigued by a couple’s differences than similarities, so I love the whole idea of ‘sexy kawaii.’”

You are correct, sir: a character that was “originally aimed at pre-adolescent females” does not have much in common with a magazine originally and currently aimed at men who want to stare at them titties. Hello Kitty may have adult fans, but she is not portrayed as an adult cat and holy shit why am I even arguing this?

Here are a few of the items from the collab:

Leica C, $1277

Leica C, $1277

Hello Kitty got a sexy Playboy makeover...

X Mini, $55

If you don’t think this was intended to sexualize Hello Kitty, I suggest you hop on over to Style.com where they have some lovely photos of a model wearing a bra, thong and teensy maid costume with bunny ears standing in front of a Hello Kitty triptych. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it disturbing, but it definitely makes me uncomfortable. Apparently, Hello Kitty is considered “ageless” even though a quick glance at the character’s official Twitter insinuates otherwise:

Hello Kitty Twitter account

Granted, somebody already re-imagined Disney princesses as porn stars, so I suppose it was only a matter of time before they turned the world’s favorite cat into something sexual, but it still gives me the creeps regardless.

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  • Lindsey Conklin

    this trend of sexualizing icons intended for children really needs to stop.

    • ted3553

      The whole trend of woman-led sexualizing “cute” things needs to stop. Cute generally equates to young and that’s never sexy.

    • patti livernash

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  • CrosslyStitched

    She has no mouth. There are all sorts of explanations for it but she has no mouth. I told my daughter her lack of a mouth illustrates how woman are frequently treated and that she should question anyone who tries to dictate to her how she should behave, think or look as a woman. And I’m not really militant about feminism, just my children’s (male and female) self esteem.

    • Samantha Escobar

      Wow, that is a really, really good point.

    • ScarletRegina

      I will never look at Hello Kitty the same way, again.

    • Mike H

      Hello Kitty is Japanese. In Japan it is considered very feminine to have a small mouth. It’s all about culture. A culture you weren’t raised in and no matter how much you read about it you won’t understand because you haven’t lived it your whole life. Right, wrong or otherwise.

  • Elisa Probert

    I’m pretty sure I’ve seen Hello Kitty as Betty Boop before. Don’t ask me where though.

    Seriously though, everything does not need to be sexy!

  • Tinyfaeri

    Considering the number of Hello Kitty vibrators I’ve seen, this is an odd thing to get upset about. Much like the vibrators, don’t give the playboy bunny HK stuff to your kids. Also, if for some reason they ask, remind them that the playboy bunny is not the same as the real bunnies that are hopping around the backyard.

  • Tinyfaeri

    Considering the number of Hello Kitty vibrators I’ve seen, this is an odd thing to get upset about. Much like the vibrators, don’t give the playboy bunny HK stuff to your kids. Also, if for some reason they ask, remind them that the playboy bunny is not the same as the real bunnies that are hopping around the backyard.

  • ScarletRegina

    The sexualization of cute/non-sexy things happens all of the time in the cosplay community and I’m never sure how I feel about it. Although in this situation, I can definitely say that this makes me feel gross.

  • Elizabeth Aspen

    Oh Jesus, here we go again with the whole “role model” argument. Why do you think it’s okay for parents to pass the buck and throw the responsibility of raising THEIR onto pop stars and corporations? I’m sick of lazy parents who just stick their kids in front of a tv instead of actually teaching them their own values. A parent should be their child’s ONLY role model.

  • Mike H

    Hello Kitty has waaaaaaay more provocative stuff than this in Japan. Sanrio doles out this license not unlike the way Gene Simmons does Kiss. There are adult themed Hello Kitty branded items for sale if you look for them. It’s not just for kids over there.