Hello Kitty - Avril Lavigne



The Experience: Hello Kitty has Avril appealing to her Asian fan-base - the opening lines "Mina saiko arigato, kawaii!" is Japanese for "Thanks  to you, the best crowd, so cute!" Avril uses Asian-style pop-beat with her own punk-rebel voice, describing herself and her relationships with images from the Hello Kitty production line.


Music Video: Avril uses Tokyo and Japanese dancers as a backdrop, including a fan-walk through the streets. She's in two main places: buying in a candy store and dancing in a "cupcake" themed room. (Ignoring her 'excited' trip to a Japanese restaurant.) In both places, she dresses in black over pink, representing her punk background with her girl fan-base. She's using girly symbols of candy and pink to appeal to Asian girls, but she's also presenting herself and girls like her as 'edible' to boys - even her dress has cupcakes sewn into it. Both a rebel and a product... See below to understand why.

The first layer of meaning in Avril Lavigne's Hello Kitty has Avril using the Hello Kitty label to describe herself in a pop-style relationship. She presents herself as "kawaii" - Japanese for cute, and focuses on lines like "play with me" "friends forever" as if it was a girly song. But everyone knows there's more.
The second layer goes darker: "Kitty" means devil in Japanese, but it's also has an English meaning as girlish slang for sex. ('Throw a cupcake' and the rest of lyrics, are sexual, as Avril herself states.) So we have Avril acting out as a she-devil with a sexual layer. 
The third layer is where the song actually comes from: commercialism. After punk-rock disappeared and she turned 29, Avril has been struggling to sell to young people. She (or her agents/producers?) now tries to sell herself to Asia. 
Lastly, the other side of commercialism is when people get sold. The lyrics are a girl singing "play with me" as if she was a Hello Kitty toy, but the game is obviously sexual. So Avril ends up presenting herself/girls as sexual playmates in a commercial production line. Is that really who she is and/or what girls are?
The ultimate contradiction is that Avril's former rebel-girl image has gone. Now she's singing she's practically just 'for sale' like any Kitty-doll. I hope it doesn't end here. 

Ask Yourself: What's the label I have for myself? What do other people label me as? Do I let myself be labelled?

LYRICS:
Mina saiko arigato, k-k-k-kawaii
K-k-k-kawaii.

Mom's not home tonight
So we can roll around, have a pillow fight
Like a major rager OMFG

Let's all slumber party
Like a fat kid on a pack of Smarties
Someone chuck a cupcake at me

It's time for spin the bottle
Not gonna talk about it tomorrow
Keep it just between you and me

Let's play truth or dare now
We can roll around in our underwear how
Every silly kitty should be

Come come Kitty Kitty
You're so pretty pretty
Don't go Kitty Kitty
Stay with me

Come come Kitty Kitty
You're so silly silly
Don't go Kitty Kitty
Play with me

Kawaii
Hello Kitty, hello Kitty
Hello Kitty, you're so pretty
Hello Kitty, hello Kitty
Hello Kitty, you're so silly

Wake up, got a secret
Pinky swear that you're gonna keep it
I've got something you need to see

Let's be friends forever
I wanna do everything with you together
Come and play with Kitty and me

Come come Kitty Kitty
You're so pretty pretty
Don't go Kitty Kitty
Stay with me

Come come Kitty Kitty
You're so silly silly
Don't go Kitty Kitty
Play with me

Kawaii
Hello Kitty, hello Kitty
Hello Kitty, you're so pretty
Hello Kitty, hello Kitty
Hello Kitty, you're so silly

Mina saiko arigato! Kawaii! 
Mina saiko arigato! Kawaii! 
Kawaii! Kawaii! Kawaii! Kawaii! 
Meow.

Hello Kitty, hello Kitty
Hello Kitty, you're so pretty
Hello Kitty, hello Kitty
Hello Kitty, you're so silly

Come come Kitty Kitty
You're so pretty pretty
Don't go Kitty Kitty
Stay with me

Come come Kitty Kitty
You're so silly silly
Don't go Kitty Kitty
Play with me

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