Back in 2019, and just in time for Día de Muertos (or what Americans dare call “Mexican Halloween”) Mattel came up with a signature Barbie Día de Muertos which – according to a very long press release – featured a “long, embroidered dress decorated with flowers and butterflies [and] a crown with the iconic monarch butterflies and the cempasúchitl flower to honor, in every way, the symbols and offerings of this emblematic Mexican tradition.”
Today, as if the COVID-19 pandemic hadn’t brought so many calamities to the world, she is back, and she’s not alone: Mattel’s Second Edition Barbie Día de Muertos comes with a catrina-faced Ken Doll Día de Muertos, featuring a “charro look” and a “calavera sugar skull bolero tie and sombrero with a golden band.”
It’s only been, like, a day, but brands are already jumping on the Hispanic Heritage Month action. Take Mattel’s most annoying toy, Barbie, who is celebrating by befriending a Latino dude named Rafa who teaches her to –what else? – how to salsa.
This clip is barely a minute, but it has everything I’ve come to expect from these kind of “homages,” namely salsa, abuelas, Tito Puente, Yolanda Rivera and the island of Puerto Rico, where Barbie & Rafa remind us they can travel to without carrying a passport!
Hold on to your sombreros: The 2022 Hispanic Hellish Month is just getting started!
Come November, there’s one thing that really, really, gets on my nerves (besides pumpkin-spice stuff, of course) and that is America’s obsession with the Mexican tradition known as Día de Muertos (basically Day of the Dead) or as some gringos dare calling it: Mexico’s Halloween.
Anyhow, in a move that I can only interpret as spite –and to mess up with me and my fellow Mexicans– Mattel on Tuesday announced the upcoming launch of a Day of the Dead-themed Barbie to be called –what else?– Barbie Día de Muertos. Duh.
According to an unnecessarily long press release: Barbie Día de Muertos will feature a “long, embroidered dress decorated with flowers and butterflies. The final touch is completed by a crown with the iconic monarch butterflies and the cempasúchitl flower to honor, in every way, the symbols and offerings of this emblematic Mexican tradition.”
And I thought Barbie Frida Kahlo was pathetic. Now if you excuse me, I’m off to find a non-pumpkin-spiced triple shot of mezcal or something.
Mexican native Omar Ariel Cortés has created a Facebook page showcasing a world in which Mattel’s famous Barbie doll leaves her magical world to join a more sinister one: the world of drug dealing, breast cancer, single motherhood, prostitution and migration, mostly from a Mexican perspective.
I do not know this guy, but I think some of these images are quite powerful. Besides, they are much more real than Mattel’s now infamous Mexican Barbie.
On the heels of the Barbie Mexicana brouhaha that I so inadvertently started, I decided to go on a worldwide hunt for the next controversial, culturally-relevant and irreverent Barbie doll.
Here she is. She is proud, meaty and looks absolutely delicious. Besides, this one doesn’t come carrying a pet pig or something weird like that, so it should go down history with less controversy as the other Barbie Dolls of the World.
The folks over at Mattel are so smart, that not only they have come up with a Mexican Barbie, but they have given her all the possible tools to go around the U.S. the world undisturbed.
In addition to a “wonderfully bright pink dress with ribbon accents,” Mexican Barbie comes fashionably ready for a fiesta with her Chihuahua friend (we all do.) But that is not all: According to Mattel, this beauty features accessories that “add play value,” including a passport and sticker sheet.
It is not for me to inform you about the “play value” that a passport provides, so go ahead! Play with your Barbie Mexicana and don’t even think of calling her indocumentada. Oh, and she can be yours for only $24.50 on Amazon.com
IMPORTANT UPDATE: This blogger has found a Mexican Ken to go with the Mexican Barbie. Here it is:
After decades months of despair for not being able to see myself in those slim, cute Barbie dolls, I found one that actually looks like this blogger after indulging in too many “typically-Latino” breakfasts.
The print ad is actually part of a broader campaign executed by Austin, Tx.-based LatinWorks for Active Life Movement, an organization that for some reason wants me to get up and move. The campaign includes other fatsy superheroes, including a not-so-cute chubby Superman.