Thursday, 11 April 2013

Barbie Chihuahua: Mexican Barbie, Chihuahua, passport sparks controversy

Barbie Chihuahua: Mexican Barbie, Chihuahua, passport sparks controversy, Barbie Chihuahua which consists of a Mexican Barbie, a Chihuahua, and a passport is sparking controversy for being too stereotypical. “It would be nice to see some contemporary images from these countries. These images seem very dated and seem to have been created for a different time,” said Felix Sanchez, chairman and co-founder of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, according to a Fox News Latino report on April 10, 2013.

Like Felix Sanchez, other critics are arguing that the Mexican Barbie with her Chihuahua and her passport is too clich├ęd and is reinforcing negative stereotypes.

The Mexican Barbie with her Chihuahua is one of the international dolls sold in Mattel’s “Dolls of the World Collection.” Mattel, which had initially launched its collection 30 years ago, is trying to make a comeback by representing a variety of countries.

According to Mattel spokesperson Sara Rosales, Mattel celebrates both a country’s heritage and culture and the “Barbie brand understands the significance of introducing new cultures to girls in a relatable way.”

According to Amazon.com’s description,

“Mexico Barbie looks wonderfully bright in a pink dress with ruffles, lace and ribbon in brightly colored accents. With a ribbon in her hair and a Chihuahua friend, Barbie is ready for a fiesta. The Barbie Dolls of the World also come with accessories to add play value that include a passport and sticker sheet to help record Barbie doll's travels.”

For only $24.50, the Mexican Barbie, her Chihuahua, her passport, and the accompanying stickers are ready to go anywhere. Almost anywhere, that is.

While most of the feedback provided by customers on Amazon.com is positive, some customers appear to be offended by “the most racist dolls I've ever seen in my entire life” or the fact that the Mexican Barbie has a passport.

“I am really glad that this ‘toy’ comes with a Mexican passport, but it is unclear if it comes with a valid visa to enter the United States. Is Mattel promoting illegals? And is Amazon aiding and abetting? I am not sure I would want my child, or any other child, to order this doll without knowing the answer.”

Unfortunately, even The Latin Times finds the Mexican Barbie Doll controversial not because of her dress or her Chihuahua but because of her passport.

“The main difference between her ‘American’ counterpart: documentation. While Barbies routinely come complete with any of a number of accessories ranging from a handbag to sunglasses, the Mexican Barbie doll comes with documentation and a passport.”

All of the dolls in Mattel’s “Dolls of the World Collection” which include dolls from Spain, India, Australia, Chile, Argentina, and Brazil, come with a passport which should answer the question as to whether Mattel is implying any kind of illegal immigration issue.

And for being “the most racist” Barbie dolls? It all depends on one’s point of view. Is watching a Mexican fiesta with girls in pretty pink dresses with ruffles, laces, and ribbons a “racist” event or an event that celebrates a cultural heritage?

Despite all the controversy, it might be helpful to remember that it is not the reality expectation of adults but the imagination of little girls that will bring the Mexican Barbie and her Chihuahua to life.

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