The Pop Culture Lens

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Episode 33: Hello Kitty

January 4th, 2017

In the thirty-third episode of The Pop Culture Lens podcast, Christopher Olson and CarrieLynn Reinhard welcome friend of the podcast Norma Jones to discuss the venerable pop culture brand that is Hello Kitty.

In this episode, CarrieLynn and Norma position Hello Kitty not only as a pop icon but as a heroic figure. In their discussion on how Hello Kitty represents female empowerment from an Asian perspective, they consider how the Japanese concepts of omoiyari and kawaii make the figure a source of identification and inspiration for people around the world. Hello Kitty represents an example of how to be with other people, and her example is very desirable in today's contentious world.

The music at the end samples Avril Lavigne's "Hello Kitty" from 2013.

Many thanks goes out to production assistant, Jean-Michel Berthiaume, for helping produce this episode.

As always, you are encouraged to become a part of this conversation by visiting any of the podcast's social media sites. You can also talk with Christopher Olson on Twitter (@chrstphrolson) and at his academic blog And you can talk to CarrieLynn Reinhard on Twitter (@mediaoracle) and at her website