By Olivia B. Waxman
August 27, 2014

In a Los Angeles Times interview, Christine Yano, curator of an upcoming exhibit on Hello Kitty at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, said Sanrio considers its billion-dollar icon to be a human girl. As she put it:

Cue the collective—and understandable—”What?!?!?!” on social media.

Sanrio indeed confirmed the news and also pointed us to Hello Kitty’s official bio:

This story was updated to include Sanrio’s response.

Write to Olivia B. Waxman at olivia.waxman@time.com.

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