Mattel came under criticism last year after introducing a Mexican Barbie who wore a bright pink traditional dress and a Chihuahua tucked under her arm.
The toy manufacturing company says launching a Mexican Barbie was a way to bring cultural awareness to children, but many criticized it for adhering to outdated and offensive stereotypes, the Daily Mail reports.
But this did not stop Mattel, which has now launched their latest version of the Barbie doll wearing a traditional mariachi costume complete with a fitted black bolero jacket and cropped trousers trimmed in golden brocade that mirrors the pattern on her wide-brimmed sombrero. Flourishes include a pink tie, low ponytail and tall black boots.
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The doll "is ready to celebrate with Mexico these national holidays," according to Mattel executive Ana Paula Martinez de Alba, referring to the launch of Mariachi Barbie on Sept. 15, the day before Mexican Independence Day.
The new Mexican Barbie will be part of the “Dolls of the World” collection. Both the mariachi costume and mariachi musical groups are considered iconic symbols of Mexico.
Critics of last year’s version of the Mexican Barbie have said that the dolls represent cliched perceptions of different cultures.
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“Apparently no one from Mattel has ever set foot outside the U.S. — possibly not outside of Disneyland’s rather aged It’s a Small World exhibit,” website The Corvallis Advocate said of the collection.
“If you really have to do the old-fashioned, traditional dress, why not at least make it accurate?” a blogger for The Stir wrote.
(Photo via latintimes.com)
“These images seem very dated and seem to have been created for a different time,” said Felix Sanchez, chairman of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts.
However, this year, Sanchez has no problems with the new edition.
“Well at least she’s not coming off as sexy Latina Barbie, spinning on a pedestal,” he said, referring to Sofia Vergara’s heavily criticized Emmys skit, according to BuzzFeed. “This is an image that does exist. It helps us embrace toy making in a way that makes it relevant and authentic.”
What do you think? Is the new Mariachi Barbie doll offensive?