Avril Lavigne, just months shy of her 30th birthday, has released the kind of music video any self-respecting third-grader would be embarrassed to put their name on. The clip for Hello Kitty — a Chavril co-production that makes Chad Kroeger’s songwriting efforts with Nickleback sound like Glenn Gould — is so terribly offensive that it very well may create a diplomatic rift between Canada and Japan. But Japanese culture isn’t the only thing Avril appropriates, insults and ruins for the rest of us. We counted 13 things desecrated by the Canadian pop star in her new video; how many can you spot?
1. Hello Kitty
You know what’s creepy? Subtly sexualizing a beloved childhood cartoon character: “It’s time for spin the bottle / Not gonna talk about it tomorrow / Keep it just between you and me / Let’s play truth or dare now / We can roll around in our underwear how / Every silly kitty should be”? Um, no.
2. Cats in general
There’s not a single cat in this video, but still, we’re positive every cat in the world is cringing right now.
3. Japanese women
Remember the quartet of Harajuku girls adopted by Gwen Stefani back in 2004? The identically-dressed Japanese backup dancers went everywhere with Gwen, who renamed the girls Love, Angel, Music and Baby. It was awkward. Many criticized Stefani for hiring her own troupe of modern-day Geishas and reinforcing negative stereotypes about Asian women. Guess what: It’s still awkward 10 years later. Avril should know better.
4. Madonna’s ‘Like a Virgin’ look
The Material Girl rocked pearls, fingerless gloves and a bustier first, back in 1984 in her own iconic music video; but if her stylist had shown up on set with a stuffed cupcake skirt, Madge would have burned the entire set down.
My constant craving for gummy cola bottles has suddenly abated now that I know Avril has had her grubby fingers inside untold numbers of candy bins.
If this video was your only window into the Japanese diet, you’d think that people there subsisted on sushi and candy alone — and that they didn’t get to eat all that often. Avril is so worked up in the sushi scene it’s as though she hasn’t had a bite to eat in weeks. Good luck not picturing her ridiculous reaction the next time you sit down to enjoy a bento box.
7. The phrase “big in Japan”
Look at Avril strutting her stuff down the streets of Tokyo as a huge crowd of admirers fawns over her. If Avril’s alleged Japanese popularity gets you thinking you should probably buy her album, too, just remember: They were paid to be there.
Just when us spectacle-wearing nerds were starting to feel cool, Avril has to go and ruin everything by donning a pair of terrible turquoise glasses for this terrible video. They probably don’t even have lenses. Sigh.
9. The Japanese language
“Kawaii” sounded so neat to our ears before hearing Avril squeal out those syllables over and over…and over.
10. Skrillex’s haircut
Okay, this one might not be all Avril’s fault, but she definitely hammered the final nail into the half-shaved coffin.
Will you ever be able to enjoy another one without thinking of Avril’s atrocious lyrics (“Let’s all slumber party / Like a fat kid on a pack of Smarties / Someone chuck a cupcake at me”)? The answer is no.
12. The Lavigne name
Somewhere in America, Adam Levine is standing in line at a courthouse petitioning to change his last name to Prinsloo.