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A note on "Mexican Barbie" and the rest of the Barbies of the World collection
After reblogging this post and saying my peace on the ridiculousness of the “Mexican Barbie”, I received messages letting me know that all the dolls from the “Barbies of the World” collection have a passport. Okay. That’s fine. I have no issue with the Mexican Barbie having a passport, and only because the rest of the Barbies, including the white ones have one, but let’s not pretend this collection isn’t problematic as hell.
I’ll start with the Mexican Barbie and get specific due to the fact that I am Mexican woman. Okay, why does Mexican Barbie have a Chihuahua dog? Because she’s Mexican and all Mexicans have Chihuahua dogs, qué no? Well, no. Contrary to what the incredibly creative people at Mattel want you to believe, not all Mexicans have Chihuahua dogs in their backyards (who also sit on sarapes and wear sombreros, according to these lovely people). This is a lazy and racist stereotype. A Chihuahua dog? That’s the laziest creative team work Mattel could have conjured up, but not surprising because that’s what happens when white American people are in charge of describing other cultures. Because, yes, Mattel is an American company and I will bet my left eye that most of the people on the “Dolls of the World” collection creative team were white.
Moving away from the Mexican Barbie, let’s talk about how white washed all of these dolls are. Just within the Latin American Barbies, NONE of them are a shade darker of that “beautiful”, safe, and white-washed latte tan. Where are the 100% Quechua Barbies? Where are the Afro-Latina Barbies? I mean, just in Brazil the Afrolatin@ population is a majority, yet look at the Brazilian Barbie. She basically looks just like the Mexican Barbie, but they threw in some curls to hint just a tiny bit of Afro ancestry, but not enough to scare anyone. The four Latina Barbies fly under stereotypes of what Latina women are “supposed” to look like. One of them is straight up white, while the rest are these slightly tanned beauties in appropriative indigenous clothing. This is problematic, no matter how you spin it. The rest of the none-white Barbies are just as bad. It’s out of place for me to comment the nature of the Indian and Chinese Barbies, so I invite my Asian sisters to this discussion.
So, okay, I am throwing out the passport in the Mexican Barbie as a source of problem, but none dare act like this collection isn’t racist and problematic.