Gone are Avril Lavigne's "Complicated" and "Sk8ter Boi" days. Now, we have "Hello Kitty," Lavinge's newest music video that has many people angry at the "rock-pop" singer because of its alleged racism towards Japanese culture.
"Hello Kitty" officially released Wednesday, but some blogs were already pointing out the video's Japanese stereotypes on Tuesday when it was uploaded on YouTube (it was then taken down shortly thereafter).
Buzzfeed posted an article Tuesday titled, "Avril Lavigne Just Put Out the Most Cringeworthy Music Video of the Year." In the post, Buzzfeed mentions the singer keeps shouting out Japanese words such "arigato" (which means "thank you") and "kawaii" (which means "cute") as she and her Japanese dancers walk around Japan.
All of this leads to one question: Is Lavigne indeed appropriating and stereotyping Japanese "kawaii" culture?
According to some of those who commented on the music video through YouTube, yes.
For example, one commenter wrote: "It's so forced and a poor ripoff of Japanese culture and music."
"Not to mention the fact that there is a racial undertone to this, as it is clearly mocking J Pop and Japanese culture," wrote another.
And also: "um. four robot asian women backup dancers who just follow her around...? i can't help but feel like japanese culture is just a cute trend to her like... that was incredibly offensive to me and i'm not even japanese."
Billboard writer Jason Lipshutz made his disdain for the "Hello Kitty" video known. He described Lavigne's video as "gloriously ghastly" and "an embarrassment in any language."
"The "Hello Kitty" video tries to do nothing. Its laziness is demonstrated in the first 21 seconds, during which Lavigne holds a plush stack of cupcakes, shakes her hips, stares at the cupcakes, bounces her shoulders, and then, when she sings the line 'Someone chuck a cupcake at me'… tosses the fake cupcakes at the camera, her lip movement not matching up to the backing track whatsoever," he wrote.
However, there are some who are showing their support for "Hello Kitty."
One YouTube user wrote, "I think she's making fun of the way western society views Japan and its culture, with the strong clichés (all the Japanese women look the same, sushi, sake, etc...) and the use of Japanese throughout the song. Plus, Hello Kitty is in itself a cliché."
What do you think about Avril Lavinge's "Hello Kitty" video? Leave your comments below!
Read our INTERVIEW WITH AVRIL LAVIGNE!