It must be hard being an Asian guy, let alone in Taiwan.
You’ve got clothes outlets doing their best to dress you star studded femininely glamorous attire.
Your girlfriend is always whinging at you to do more girly activities with her.
Your parents don’t want you to do anything remotely manly as a profession as that’d mean you’d get dark skin, which would signify you had an outdoors job and were invariably poor.
The rest of the world will never let you live down small penis jokes…
…and then as if that all wasn’t bad enough, 7-11 recently decided that as a Taiwanese male, you’re their new target demographic for their latest round of Hello Kitty merchandise!
Sometime in the last week 7-11 Taiwan have rolled out some kind of new Hello Kitty promotion where they seem to be combining store points which can contribute towards Hello Kitty products.
On offer you’ve got bracelets, earrings, wrist bands, mobile phone dangly things, a bag (I think), a cup and some other assorted random stuff.
That in itself is fine but 7-11 have also gone ahead and put these posters up in virtually every store;
Disturbingly, what you’re looking at there is a male advertising Hello Kitty merchandise.
Now for those of you not in the know, Hello Kitty is an import brand from Japan. For some inexplicable reason the guys over at Hello Kitty Inc. have managed to turn an entire generation of Taiwanese girls into pre-pubescent crazed lunatics at the very mention of Hello Kitty.
I’ve dated a girl who was so obsessed she had Hello Kitty everything… and I do mean everything. She had the Hello Kitty scooter helmet, spoon set (which she carried around everywhere in her bag), cup set (also carried around), tissues, underwear, you name it.
Then there was the time I walked into one girls bedroom and felt like I’d just entered pedophile heaven… I’ve never seen so much pink stuff in the one place in my life!
Without a doubt, Hello Kitty is definitely a brand for females. Gay guys? Yeah, if they want to be cute, but there’s definitely not enough of them around Taiwan for 7-11 to go all out gangbusters on promotional posters aimed squarely at them.
This left me with the puzzling dilemma of just who were 7-11 marketing to? When I asked my girlfriend about it, she said that he was just a famous male model. Girls like him as a model so 7-11 was using him to send out the image that their Hello Kitty trinkets were fashionable.
Fair enough… except for the gender reversal thing! I countered by asking that if I got a Taiwanese male model who girls liked to do a bra commercial, would that be ok?
‘No that’s different!’ was the answer.
But is it?
I’d honestly have a hard time taking any guy seriously who was running around with Hello Kitty trinkets hanging off him, so how is the reverse not true for females?
If you dressed up a girl in guys boots, or had her modelling men’s deodorant, or men’s shaving razors – would you as a guy be motivated to purchase the product?
Personally speaking, not bloody likely!
Yet here we are, in the heart of Asia where males’ masculinity is being exterminated by marketing the feminine image to guys at a cultural level… and nobody in Taiwan seems to be raising an eyebrow.
And as a male model, what the hell was the guy in the poster thinking? Oh yeah, I’m a guy but I’m quite happy for 7-11 to plaster me posing with Hello Kitty accessories all over Taiwan.
Career ender or is he now the most laid guy in Taiwan?!
A few more years of this madness and the only place you’re going to see a non-feminine Taiwanese guy is in a museum.