Realism Vs. Racism: The Mexican Barbie Doll Scandal

Mexico Barbie 2012 “Dolls of the World” Collection

One of Mattel’s most popular collections of dolls the “Dolls of the World” collection, is meant to pay homage to various countries around the world. However, the latest release (June 2012) of the Mexico Barbie has brought forth the issue of realism vs. racism . Pictured above is an image of the doll adorned in “traditional” Mexican garb holding a chihuahua¬†under her arm. I not sure if it is racist, but…when looking at photos of the other dolls, one thing does become abundantly clear to me, and that is the way that regardless of what “country” or “nationality” each doll is associated with, they all seem to still have traces of the classic white Barbie Doll that has been plastered in our minds for over 50 years….It would seem to me that if Mattel seeks to make a diverse array of dolls, they can work a little harder to make the dolls more closely resemble the native women of their respective countries. Additionally, since the US is a diverse nation, it would not hurt to throw in some dolls that depict the many hues, shapes, sizes, features, and other various traits of US born women. As a collector of Black Barbie Dolls, this same issue has been in my mind and the source of my frustration for many years, as the “Black” versions of many of the other collections of popular Barbies seems to resemble women like me, less and less each year. It seems interesting to me that this is just now being called into question.

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