Surprise! Hello Kitty Is Not a Cat

August 27, 2014 10:15 PM

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Hello Kitty! You have seen her on your eight-year-old cousin’s backpack and your college roommate’s tote bag (“I . . . uh, got this when I was younger!”), on a dress worn by Lady Gaga and the track list of Avril Lavigne’s most recent album. Hello Kitty has become something of a behemoth, reportedly earning its maker Sanrio more than $7 billion a year, an absurd number that seems all the more absurd when considering Sanrio does very little advertising.

Hello Kitty is turning 40 this year, and she is celebrating with a splashy Us Weekly cover (“THAT ‘HELLO’ GLOW: HOW HELLO KITTY FINDS JOY AT 40 AND WHY SHE’LL NEVER SHAVE THOSE WHISKERS”) and a late-night bash at the Gramercy Petco thrown by Olivia Benson and Meredith, Taylor Swift’s cats. Just kidd...

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