A new “Mexico Barbie” doll has run into allegations that it reinforces negative stereotypes.
Maker Mattel describes how the doll comes “fashionably ready for a fiesta” in a bright pink dress, along with a passport and her own Chihuahua. Some critics argue such accessories help perpetuate reductive stereotypes. The Latin Times argues:
“The most surprising accessory is the faux passport and “sticker sheet.” No reason has been given for the extra accessory, and it would be pure speculation to say Mattel is siding with one side of the immigration issue or the other. Are they making any sort of political statement or just being creative?”
The new doll is part of Barbie’s “Dolls Of The World” collection, a line that first appeared over 30 years ago. This year it’s making a comeback with a selection of new dolls, each representing different cultures.
Supporters of Mexico Barbie point out that all of the new Barbies come with passports. Furthermore, each doll has its own cultural dress and pet. India Barbie is decked out in a sari and has a pet monkey, while Australia Barbie comes in a Steve Irwin-esque outfit and clutches a koala bear.
Defending the new dolls in a statement to Fox News Latino, Mattel spokeswoman Sara Rosales said:
“Girls enjoy exploring the world and learning about different cultures through play. The Barbie brand understands the significance of introducing new cultures to girls in a relatable way.”
What do you make of the Mexico Barbie debate? Is criticism of the doll political correctness gone mad, or are these new dolls pandering to lazy stereotypes? Sound off in the comments!