Tags: Mattel | Barbie | Mexico | DayoftheDead | culture

Mattel Takes Heat for New 'Day of the Dead' Barbie

Mattel Takes Heat for New 'Day of the Dead' Barbie
View of two Catrina Barbie dolls and a Frida Kahlo one at the Museum of the Old Mexican Toy in Mexico City on October 20, 2020. ( Alfredo Estrella/AFP via Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 27 October 2020 03:48 PM

Toymaker Mattel is under fire in Mexico over its new “Day of the Dead” Barbie doll, The Daily Mail reports.

While Mattel claims the doll “honors the traditions, symbols, and rituals" of the Day of the Dead, critics say it is cultural appropriation.

“The cultural, hereditary and symbolic importance that this holiday has for Mexico opens up in the eyes of the market opportunities that are exploited by these firms,” sociologist Roberto Alvarez said of the doll. 

He told the outlet that the Day of the Dead “should be a solemn subject.” He said it has become a commercialized event in the U.S.

Others see the Barbie as a tribute to the Mexican culture. The festival is a time where the gateway separating the living and the deceased opens, which allows people to pay their respects to those who have passed. It is celebrated on Nov. 1 and 2. 

“It means that they take notice of our traditions,” Barbie collector Zoila Muntane said.

Last year’s Day of the Dead Barbie was dressed in black. This year, she wears a blush-colored lace dress and a crown of skeleton hands holding roses and marigolds. The doll is modeled after cartoonist Jose Guadalupe Posada’s Catrina, a skeletal representation of death. This is the second Barbie launched inspired by Catrina.

The doll was created by Mexican-American designer Javier Meabe. He told the outlet that he tried to “create more awareness about the celebration” through his design.

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Toymaker Mattel is under fire in Mexico over its new "Day of the Dead" Barbie doll...
Mattel, Barbie, Mexico, DayoftheDead, culture
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2020-48-27
Tuesday, 27 October 2020 03:48 PM
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