• The QWoC MBA

Today I Read that not everyone should be a Barbie

According to Frida Kahlo's great-niece, Mattel failed to secure the rights before creating the Frida Kahlo Barbie as part of the Inspiring Women series.

Quick Summary: Mara de Anda Romeo claims Mattel does not have the rights to the Frida Kahlo Barbie doll which was recently released. Rather than monetary compensation, she seeks to redesign the doll which according to critics, does not properly depict Kahlo's nearly conjoined eyebrows or Tehuana-style dress. Mattel claims they worked with the Panamanian Frida Kahlo Corp., who "owns all the rights."

Big Takeaway: Barbie is synonymous with the unrealistic characterization of women's bodies.

Something I did not know: Kahlo, a life long communist died in 1954, 5 years before Barbie was introduced.

Makes me feel/think about: This is definitely an issue of cultural appropriation which is never ok. Understandably, Mattel is moving its Barbies away from the unrealistic proportions towards 'real women,' but they are missing the mark the with Frida Kahlo doll. Even Selma Hayek has spoken against the Barbie connection to the outspoken and 'unique' Kahlo. This is definitely a reminder that some concepts are not meant to be commoditized. I commend Mattel for their vision, but believe they could have done a better job of identifying appropriate icons.

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