Avril Lavigne's Hello Kitty

I've noticed that there's been quite a lot of controversy over Avril Lavigne's new song, "Hello Kitty." Many people are saying it's racist, while others are simply commenting that it's a terrible song. Whatever your thoughts may be about this, I for one definitely don't agree with those statements.

I believe that Avril Lavigne was simply trying to bridge the gap between Japan and America by bringing about more awareness of the Japanese culture. Either that, or she was just outreaching to the rapidly growing 'otaku' population. Obviously though, a key give away that this song has a Japanese influence is its title, "Hello Kitty." Even though she doesn't exactly specifically talk about the 'icon' itself, there is a major hint that it was definitely named after the figure Hello Kitty as seen with the background dancers' outfits. Even though they aren't wearing Hello Kitty's iconic red bow, they are however wearing red colored wigs, and her colors of white, blue, and pink.

Another major point is the physical location of where her music video was shot at. The main setting is Japan, and I'm assuming it was filmed in Tokyo (but I could be wrong, especially since there weren't that many people running around in the background). The candy shop, CANDY A☆GO☆GO!, that Avril appears in is only located in Japan with majority of their locations found in Tokyo, so this just confirms that video was in fact shot in Japan.

Of course your stereotypical Japanese food of sushi and sake were included in this video, but she could have introduced some other Japanese dishes. That way people would have wondered what she was eating, which would then lead them to research (a.k.a. search Google) more about the Japanese cuisine.

In her video, there were bits and pieces of random Japanese words throughout the song, such as "みんな (minna = everyone)," "ありがとう(arigatou = thank you)," and "かわいい (kawaii = cute), which just shows that she's trying to incorporate and expose people to the Japanese language. Avril was also possibly influenced some Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, a famous Japanese artist who is known for her extremely bizarre and outlandish kawaii fashion, and she just wanted to reveal to the world that Japan has a more clothing styles than just a kimono.

There was one part of her song, however, where I was utterly confused. At the beginning, where she's spouting random Japanese words, when she says, "sai-kõ," is she actually saying "さいきょう(saikyou)," which means "the best"? Or rather, "サイコ (saiko)," meaning "psycho"? But after re-watching the video again, it's probably just saikyou. Later on in the video she walks through the streets, smiling and waving to everyone, so now I don't think it's random Japanese she's saying at the beginning. I'm now under the impression that her fragmented sentence at the beginning, "みんなさいきょうありがとう," Avril is trying to say, "Everyone, you're the best. Thank you." Anyway, I'd love to hear your thoughts about this and your overall thoughts on this new song of hers.

If you want to watch and listen to her video, click here, or watch it below!

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