Latina-Inspired Barbie Dolls Prompt Stereotype Debate

4735826636_bd0aede5b7_bA collection of multicultural Barbie dolls recently launched by Mattel have prompted a debate over cultural stereotypes in an attempt to appeal to a “new, more diverse generation of doll enthusiasts,” a report from FOX News Latino says.
The Dolls of the World collection features Barbie dolls wearing styles from across the globe. Several dolls from the newest collection are inspired by Latin American culture.
Mexican Barbie, which according the report has sparked the most debate, is described on the Barbie collector website as having “new Hispanic” facial features and an “LA tan.” The doll also dons a ruffled pink dress, a pink passport, and sports a “Chihuahua friend” under her arm.
Sara Rosales, a spokesperson for Mattel, said the dolls are a way for children to play and learn about different cultures at the same time.
“The Barbie brand understands the significance of introducing new cultures to girls in a relatable way,” she said.
Rosales also said the collection features fashion that is native to each culture in a way that celebrates its traditions and diversity.
Dolls dressed in traditional styles from Spain, Chile, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico have made some advocates question why more contemporary styles were not included.
Felix Sanchez, chairman and co-founder of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, called the looks “very dated” and said they “seem to have been created for a different time.”
(Photo by Freddycat1)


One thought on “Latina-Inspired Barbie Dolls Prompt Stereotype Debate

  1. The last time I checked the only famous person walking around with a chihuahua was Paris Hilton (not one Mexican actor!), epic fail on Mattel’s part. Offensive stereotype for sure. While I always loved Barbie, it was NOT the first doll of choice for my daughter when I became a Mom. I wanted a doll she could identify with, considering she is bi-racial and we are a multicultural household (her Dad is from India and I’m from Spain). I remember shopping for a CPK and ended up with the baby version because it was the only one that was tan. That is still, to this day, her favorite! She has plenty of other things to worry about and image wasn’t one that I was going to introduce in her most crucial early years. I want her to be sure of herself and have high self esteem, etc. Barbie isn’t someone (not even a real person) she needs to identify with. It is my responsibility to introduce to her positive role models including and be a nurturing mother as she becomes a young woman. We cannot expect toy companies to do our jobs.

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