Barbie's Chihuahua: Vintage Latina Dolls' Re-Release Causes Stir

Thursday, 11 Apr 2013 12:49 PM

By Michael Mullins

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Several Latina-inspired Barbie dolls have not been well-received by some in the Hispanic community who claim the dolls are "dated" in their appearance and promote tired stereotypes.

In an attempt to appeal to a more diverse generation of doll enthusiasts, Mattel reintroduced the legendary Barbie line: "Dolls of the World Collection," which first appeared 30 years ago and features dolls of various skin tones and attire from cultures all over the world.

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Included in the "Dolls of the World Collection" are:

• Brazilian Barbie, wearing a high-cut pink lace skirt
• Peruvian Barbie, wearing traditional Quechua clothing
• Chilean Barbie, wearing a Chilean huaso – a knee-length black skirt with a ruffled blouse and red vest
• India Barbie, dressed in a traditional saree dress and holding a monkey
• China Barbie, wearing a "red 'silk' embroidered" gown and holding a panda cub
• Australia Barbie, with her "stylish safari outfit" and holding a koala bear

Then there is Mexican Barbie, holding her "Chihuahua friend." It's the one causing the most controversy, reported Fox News Latino.

According to her description on the Mattel website, Mexican Barbie "is ready for any fiesta!" wearing "a bright pink ruffled dress" and including "passport" along with the Chihuahua.

The online description of the doll also describes Mexican Barbie as having the facial sculpt of a "new Hispanic" and a skin tone that is "LA tan."

The description prompted a backlash.

"It would be nice to see some contemporary images from these countries," Felix Sanchez, chairman and co-founder of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, told Fox News Latino. "These images seem very dated and seem to have been created for a different time."

According to Mattel spokeswoman Sara Rosales, the dolls were never intended to stir up old cultural stereotypes, but rather meant to celebrate "both the country’s heritage and culture" which they represent.

"Girls enjoy exploring the world and learning about different cultures through play," Rosales said. "The Barbie brand understands the significance of introducing new cultures to girls in a relatable way."

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"The Dolls of the World collection features the native fashions, while celebrating the cultures and diversity represented within each country in a way that will appeal to Barbie fans of all ages," she said.

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