by Lynn Kim Do

The Kitty That Looked Like Me | Nylon x Sanrio

Growing up, there weren’t too many Asian female characters I could relate to. Actually there wasn't one at all, except perhaps the fictional kitten that went by the name of Hello Kitty. Hello Kitty was, in fact, the Barbie of my childhood. I looked more like her (even though she has ears) than a Barbie doll. She was cute. She was cuddly. She was a bad ass bitch that was relentlessly herself. And she was there for me. On weekends, my mom didn't take my brothers and me to Toys R Us. We went to Asian Food Market or HMart. Our toy store was exclusively in the Asian toy section of the supermarket. It was the only corner that exploded in bubble gum pink or emo brown and black (for Badtz-Maru). As I child I grouped my friends in to two categories— Badtz-Maru vs Hello Kitty. And sometimes one person can suddenly alter from a kind Hello Kitty to a mischievous Badtz-Maru. There was something for everyone including smelly flavored erasers and the cutest planners that were NEVER in English. It was amazing. But Hello Kitty, that girl, was always there with her red bow and cute smile to assure me that the candy package with her face on it was going to be delicious. And guess, what? It was! What made Hello Kitty even cooler was that my white friends loved them too! Finally, we have something we can relate to until we grew into our hard liquor days. Everybody loved her. And it wasn't weird to bring a Hello Kitty lunchbox even though what I had in the lunchbox was not very relatable—rice and soy sauce. I guess you win some and you lose some. As in, I won cause I got some bomb ass rice in my lunchbox while they were eating some boring ass sandwiches!

Visuals by Amina Gingold 
Wearing -
Hello Kitty Bomber Jacket - NYLON x Sanrio
Hello Kitty shorts - NYLON x Sanrio