A doll with ‘Hispanic facial features’

quinceanera.jpgIn their quest for innovation, Hispanic marketers cannot seem to avoid using racist notions of color and looks. Soon after Kmart announced it was releasing a line of ethnic dolls, Brass Key Inc. has now come out with its own line of Quinceañera dolls, but these are not for rough playing but small porcelain collectibles designed to “let the littlest Latinas live out their Quinceañera fantasies.”

And despite all we’ve been saying about stereotypes and Hispanic-looking people, Brass Key is quick to point out that its Princesa Quinceañera line features “distinctly Hispanic facial features and hair styles.”

Maybe I’m missing something here but a) I stopped playing with dolls when I was about 12, and b) I still haven’t figure out what a distinctly Hispanic facial feature and hair style is. Can anybody help?

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13 Responses to A doll with ‘Hispanic facial features’

  1. Wendi Muse says:

    awesome post
    this is something that happens in the US quite often, the one-image marketing of hispanics/latinos. there is a complete lack of consideration that, much like people in the US (and arguably even more-so when it comes to the population stats), latinos come in many and all colors with a huge array of features. this is a huge pet peeve of mine, and i get really tired of people who are not familiar with latinos placing them into one category when it comes to features…usually one that reflects stereotypically white spaniard features and ignoring the vast diversity of latinos that come in brown, black, yellow, and red.

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  3. I can help.

    Latinas are:

    Caliente
    Morenita
    de pelo castano o negro muy larga
    con muchas curvas muy ricas
    se vesten de ropa bien apretadita
    se ponen tacones altos
    se ponen muchos perfumes y maquillaje
    saben bailar muy bien salsa, merengue, flamenco y todo tipo de baile que les da la gana
    en la cocina usan mucha sal y les encanta cocinar arroz y frijoles
    en la cama son ardientes y gritan muchas palabras en voz alta
    a los 40, ya estan operadas dos o tres veces
    pasan los dias haciendo compras
    pasan las noches chismeando con sus amigas y lamentando que sus esposos son sin verguenzas, tramposos, guevones, malparidos
    se quejan de que sus hijas no son igual de bonita como eran ellas
    adoran a sus hijos aunque ellos son unos babosos, flojos, ignorantes…………..debo seguir?

    Actually, my favorite latina to refer people to when they fall into stereotypes is Claudio Poll. Remember her? The olympic swimmer from Costa Rica that won several medals about a decade ago? Blond, strong, nordic and very, very proud to be Costa Rican!

  4. Latinas come in every color, with every facial feature, every hairstyle and practically every ethnicity. Brass Key needs to recognize.

    “let the littlest Latinas live out their Quinceañera fantasies.”

    What about the bigger Latinas? Don’t they have fantasies, too? :)

  5. Diane says:

    Yes, what do we “look like”???

    My mom was once denied a job which required a native speaking person (which she is). Reason given? She didn’t look “Mexican” enough. Strange.

  6. I just blogged about this dynamic in a three part series for Shaping Youth on gender, race and sexism (from Obama to multiracial ‘studies & skews’) interviewing Carmen at Racialicious.

    I picked up your Ad Age piece, Laura, and plopped it in our comments section since Ad Age didn’t allow links/comments any longer for some weird reason! (yet an older piece still did, go figure) Anyway, I’d like to subscribe to your feed in Google reader, and Wendi’s as well…hope you both come visit us as our nonprofit reports on media and marketing’s influence on kids (the good, the bad, and the ugly)

    Carmen sure has fabulously erudite contacts!

    Here’s the post where I included your ‘not Hispanic enough’ article called Inconvenient Mexican: http://www.shapingyouth.org/blog/?p=593

  7. valces says:

    My favorite anecdote of the week: the dean of the university where I work is Hispanic, as well as one of the engineers that works on the staff. He and her were talking one day. The chief of our department told a story to the whole group, pretending some kind of political correctness: “They met, and they clicked right away, and they would not stop talking and talking in Spanish….But they do not speak Mexican…it is Castillian!”…

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  9. Tony says:

    Latin American people are, for the most part descended from Mediterranean and Native American stock. The degree of which often depends on the country, i.e. Peruvians have much more indigena features, wheras Puerto Ricans and Colombians clearly look very semitic, i.e. decended partly from the Moriscos of Spain. Argentinians seem to have more Northern European descendency.

    But, differences aside, it would be absurd to say that ‘Latinas’ do not have a distinct look, 95% of Latinas are immediatley recognizable as such from their “facial features”. “Claudio Poll” falls into the rare 5%.

    Even in Latin countries that have large African descent populations, latin facial features are immediately recognuizable. Most Dominicans and Afro-Colombians are immediately recognizable as “Latin” from their facial features alone.

    To deny this is to deny all marketing realities, Brass Key did not design this doll because they are rascist, they designed it because it will SELL to the Latin American market. Did you know that Diesel jeans sell completely different shaped jeans for women in Europe versus women in Latin America. This is because Latin American women are much more shapely than their European counterparts.

  10. XxXgoth benjiXxXtex-mex says:

    woa woa woa!!! why do people always think latinas are dark skinned,dark haired,and wear tight clothes?!
    1st of all,many chilean people are fairskinned.and even in mexico there is a real big variety of colours.in monterrey there are many fairskinned people as myself,have colored eyes,and fair hair. and in oaxaca the people have very high cheekbones,dark skin(typical mexican stereotype),and look more native american..if ya really look up sum internet pix of latinas form different countries,im purdy sure yall will see the Big difference..i for example,have a long thin nose,fair skin,dark mohagony hair short in rich curls,im real short,and real curvy..and..no i DO NOt know how to dance salsa,or speak spanish too good,or wear tight slutty clothes like the media has influenced the nation to think were like that and have shunned us into one crouded labeled group//

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