Tag Archives: kawaii

The Context and Cultural Appropriation of Avril Lavigne’s “Hello Kitty” Music Video

To begin with, I’m not the most unbiased person to be writing about this. “Sk8ter Boi” came out when I was attending a Canadian public school for the first time, and it had a fairly indelible effect on me. My being a fan of Avril Lavigne extended out into high school, and I can still remembering a friend getting me Let Go for my fourteenth birthday. As far as I’m concerned, some of her stuff continues to hold up.

Like most people I liked Under My Skin a fair amount, but wasn’t a huge fan of The Best Damn Thing. Watching the punk-pop star cavort around to the infectious beat felt wrong, like this was some sort of betrayal of who she started as. Of course, people change, and I eventually came around to tracks like “Hot” and “What the Hell”.

Years passed, and eventually she fell off my radar. I noted when she and Deryck Whibley of Sum 41 got a divorce and gawked at her marriage to the widely reviled Chad Kroeger of Nickelback. They recorded a song together and I thought not much of it.

Then I woke up one morning and signed online to a barrage of accusations leveled against her with “racist!” being the common denominator among them. Being fairly invested in this entire thing [as a lapsed Avril Lavigne fan and a person in staunch opposition to racism in any form] I of course had to check out the “Hello Kitty” music video post-haste. I do want to inform you all that I’ve had to watch it several times for the writing of this post and have not enjoyed it once.


Continue reading

Advertisements