Anything that is cute is extremely hard to resist. Those childlike heads, small mouths, and big round eyes are almost irrespirable. Cute merchandise almost never fails to attract consumers, especially young female consumers. According to the article “Cuties in Japan” by Sharon Kinsella, she states that, “71 percent of young people between eighteen and 30 years of age either liked or loved kawaii-looking people and 55.8 percent either liked or loved kawaii attitudes and behavior” (220). This goes to show that a majority of people prefer cute or kawaii-looking people, while more than half the people liked anything that was considered cute. At some point in their life, many young girls have found themselves attracted to Hello Kitty merchandise, myself included. I have managed to never fail to walk out of a Sanrio store without making a purchase. Plus those cute little gifts they attach to your purchase makes everything worthwhile.
Cuteness plays a significant role in Japanese culture. It’s so huge that it’s a culture itself. According to an online website that I found on cute culture, the cute culture came about when teenage girls introduced it when they used childlike handwriting to communicate with each other. Companies quickly seized the idea and began to incorporate it into their products and their sales skyrocketed. Nowadays everybody knows that anything cute can sell.
As for the Compact Challenge let’s just say that it’s a relief that I haven’t step foot into a Sanrio store in a while or else I would have broken the challenge a long time ago. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m still arrested by Sanrio and their cute products. It is already week four of the anti-consumer challenge and I have yet to make an unnecessary purchase. This week was easy for me because I’m stuck at home writing papers and packing for my big move, which isn’t a bad thing because I have an incentive to save money. Hopefully I can keep this up beyond the two weeks that are left in the challenge.
Blog # 4
[Inside source: Kinsella, Sharon. "Cuties in Japan." Reader.]
[Outside source: http://uniorb.com/ATREND/Japanwatch/cute.htm ]