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Virgincita Plis, the Hello Kitty of Mexico
May 17, 2014 11:45 AM   Subscribe

Amparo "Amparin" Serrano turned the much-revered Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patron saint of Mexico, into its Hello Kitty. In the early 2000s, Amparin drew a cute cartoon version of the Virgin and asked for protection, an inexpensive cell phone, and removal of her cellulite (Google auto-translate; original Spanish article), and it went from there (auto-translation; original page). Now, Serrano and her Distroller company have teamed up with Walmart and other large chain stores, and the brand has also expanded into the US.
posted by filthy light thief (29 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
Less Piss Christ (previously, twice), more breakdancing Jesus.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:53 AM on May 17


I like how the autotranslate can't get her gender right.
The icon is cute, for sure.
posted by chavenet at 11:54 AM on May 17


Holy Jesus on a toothbrush holder...
posted by pxe2000 at 11:57 AM on May 17


I wonder what our new pope may have to say about this peculiar marriage of the sacred with the pecuniary and the banal.
posted by clockzero at 12:00 PM on May 17


the funniest thing i've ever seen in a mexican restaurant...prominently displayed on the other side of the bar, a framed image of the virgin, and right next to her, equal size, equal billing, a framed image of joe montana dropping back to pass. you could pray to both saints with one genuflection!
posted by bruce at 12:05 PM on May 17


the funny thing i've noted is that among my family in mexico, the religious catholic ones think it's cute while the non-catholics find it offensive. also, i taught latin at a catholic school in san antonio where the notebooks became all the rage among the anglo students when some mexican nationals brought them to school. unbeknownst to them they were submitting homework with prayers in spanish that said, 'help me virgin, because i'm not very good at school' or 'virgin, please make the teacher give me an A although i didn't try very hard.'
posted by Partario at 12:12 PM on May 17 [9 favorites]


I dunno. The Virgin of Guadalupe itself is pretty syncretistic, so why not add on some more non-traditional elements? The Mexican Church doesn't seem to have a problem with it. If a Hello Kitty-ification of the Virgin helps kids relate to her, then I don't think it's a bad thing.

My inability to hold the proper amount of reverence for Christian religious symbols is one of the reasons I switched to Buddhism as soon as I could.
posted by oozy rat in a sanitary zoo at 12:17 PM on May 17 [1 favorite]


agh, how cute.
Not looking forward to the barrage of Tumblr's CULTURAL APPROPRIATION while convenietly overlooking the fact that the creator comes from this culture.
posted by divabat at 12:23 PM on May 17 [3 favorites]


I don't have a problem with the cute-ification, and I have a long-standing fascination with Catholic folk art, but it turns out I'm profoundly uncomfortable with Mary being monetized and commodified like a ninja turtle for corporate profits.

See also: shorts that say "Notre Dame" on the ass. THERE'S A LINE.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:42 PM on May 17 [2 favorites]


More "Precious Moments" than Hello Kitty, I declare.
posted by thelonius at 12:43 PM on May 17 [2 favorites]


When i first read this I thought it was literally a Virgin Mary/Hello Kitty mashup. I admit I did feel a little weird about that. The actual drawings don't bug me if they don't bug the people whose culture it comes out of. There's worse things than a drawing of a happy, smiling goddess.
posted by bleep at 1:04 PM on May 17 [2 favorites]


The Mexican Church doesn't seem to have a problem with it. If a Hello Kitty-ification of the Virgin helps kids relate to her, then I don't think it's a bad thing.

Yeah, well... here in Saragossa, Spain we've got plushie versions of the Virgen del Pilar. For babies.

Since it used to be quite common to depict the Virgin Mary as a child as an example of conduct for girls, I frankly find this cuteification very unsurprising.
posted by sukeban at 1:05 PM on May 17 [2 favorites]


Is this the appropriate thread for Buddy Christ and "Catholicism Wow!"? I'm never quite sure where MeFi stands on Kevin Smith.
posted by MikeMc at 1:15 PM on May 17


See also: shorts that say "Notre Dame" on the ass. THERE'S A LINE.

That line's been crossed so hard there not a trace left.
posted by benito.strauss at 1:15 PM on May 17 [4 favorites]


> I'm never quite sure where MeFi stands on Kevin Smith.

The head.
posted by at by at 1:16 PM on May 17


That line's been crossed so hard there not a trace left.

Wow.
posted by Dip Flash at 1:20 PM on May 17


"Who loves me, follows me" indeed.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:27 PM on May 17 [2 favorites]


THERE'S A LINE.

Touchdown Jesus agrees.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:31 PM on May 17


No wonder "plis" doesn't translate. It's the Spanish phonetic spelling of "please"...
posted by jim in austin at 1:46 PM on May 17 [1 favorite]


Yeah, but it's more like "plz" in English.
posted by sukeban at 1:48 PM on May 17


Just a note, the last link in the FPP goes to "Buenas Tareas," ("good homework") which looks a bit... off, like it's a place for students to buy essays or at least do something that might count as academic dishonesty. I can't quite put my finger on it.
posted by dhens at 2:03 PM on May 17


Those pesky graven images, always such a murky grey area.
posted by Spatch at 2:28 PM on May 17


I'm surprised that there hasn't been a mainstream baby Jesus doll that's NOT for a Christmas creche, but an actual baby doll sold with the appropriate accoutrements, like swaddling, a manger, and maybe a plushie sheep and cow as a whole set, so that so little girls could be their own "Mary".

Or maybe there has been, and since I don't have a child, I'm completely out of it.
posted by droplet at 4:04 PM on May 17


See also: shorts that say "Notre Dame" on the ass. THERE'S A LINE.

yes, and it's about 50 miles south of where i live - next time i go, i'm wearing my damn spartans hat
posted by pyramid termite at 4:13 PM on May 17


> ... like it's a place for students to buy essays or at least do something that might count as academic dishonesty.

Think of them as "academic indulgences". Vigincita perdona todo.
posted by benito.strauss at 4:43 PM on May 17


droplet: "Or maybe there has been, and since I don't have a child, I'm completely out of it."

COMPLETE WITH HALO AND YOUR CHOICE OF ETHNICITY.

I mean, really, whatever bizarre religious thing you can think of for Christianity, either Catholics or evangelicals have turned it into a product.

I personally own this Biblical Job Action Figure, covered with realistic sores AND boils, marketed for children. Because really, WHO WOULDN'T??? I am just sad that I never purchased action figure Jesus with "realistic loaves and fishes action" (he had plastic loaf and fish accessories and his hands would hold them and you'd push a button in his back and he'd karate chop them down).
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:07 PM on May 17


YOUR CHOICE OF ETHNICITY

Unfortunately, while they offer many ethnicities of Jesus, the list of options does not include Jewish.
posted by foobaz at 8:44 PM on May 17


Eyebrows McGee: I mean, really, whatever bizarre religious thing you can think of for Christianity, either Catholics or evangelicals (or capitalists) have turned it into a product.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:47 AM on May 18


I got a C in an 'entrepreneurship' class in high school when I proposed an action figure Juan Diego with a Virgen de Guadalupe printed on his mantle with that invisible ink that activates with hot o cold water, like those dolls for girls with the magic makeup sponges.

The sponge would be in the shape of a bunch of roses, so that anyone could reproduce at their leisure the miracle of Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin.

If I had not listened and had followed my dream, I'd be richer than the Archbishop of Mexico City.
posted by Doroteo Arango II at 9:04 AM on May 18 [1 favorite]


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