Mexico Barbie Doll Sparks Online Controvery

As part of Mattel’s “Dolls of the World” collection, the toy manufacturer has recently released the Mexico Barbie Doll as its newest addition. Some online critics, though, are not happy with the doll, saying it inflames cultural stereotypes.

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Mattel

As part of its “Dolls of the World” collection, toy manufacturerMattel has recently released the Mexico Barbie Doll. Some online critics, though, are not happy with the doll, saying it inflames cultural stereotypes.

The Mexican doll, which is dressed in a ruffled pink dress, comes with a passport and is accompanied by a small Chihuahua for the retail price of $29.95. In particular, many are taking offense to the symbolic nature of the passport.

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Jason Ruiz, an American studies professor at Notre Dame University told Good Morning America that the inclusion of the passport hits particularly sensitive nerves in the Mexican-American community amid heightened dispute over the immigration politics in the United States.

“It is a point of contention and great sensitivity for people of Mexican origin, especially Mexican immigrants,” said Ruiz. “Papers decide everything for immigrants from Mexico.”

Ruiz also mentions that he is not personally offended.

The inclusion of the passport isn’t actually unique–all the dolls in the series come with one–and a few of the characters are accompanied by a miniature version of some furry friend. The Indian doll, for instance, comes with a small monkey.

Meanwhile, Mattel has released a statement saying:

Each doll wears an ensemble inspired by the traditional costume and fashion of the country. … We consulted with the Mexican Embassy on the Dolls of the World Mexico Barbie, especially with respect to the selection of the Chihuahua. Our goal with the Dolls of the World Mexico Barbie, as well as the entire Dolls of the World Collection, is to celebrate cultural differences and tradition, introducing girls to the world through play.

(MORE: A Mom Asks Mattel to Make Party Supplies Featuring “Barbies of Color”)

Some people, however, do not agree. Claudya Martinez, a writer for website MamásLatinas, told ABCNews.com that it was jarring to see Mexico Barbie with a passport.

“I think a lot of people would like to pretend that there is no more racism and that people are not facing barriers because of their background or their culture,” she said. “If you happen to be one of the cultures who is continuously bombarded with stereotypes, it’s hard not to notice that the progress you thought had been made has been taken for granted.”

“We’re raising multicultural children in the United States; we’re all part of the cultural fabric. To reduce us to something that easy to digest in a bite just oversimplifies who we are.”

37 comments
Ana_Rangel
Ana_Rangel

I definitely would  not buy this for my daughter.

small_axe
small_axe

I'm 100% in favor of immigration reform, pathway to citizenship, the works. But in this case I have to cry foul. It is a doll!! It is not portraying a Mexican immigrant Barbie, it is portraying a Mexican Barbie. Last time I checked there were Mexicans who stay in Mexico. That's what the passport is for, she is on vacation. Like all the others.

That said, for this doll and all others in the World Barbie series, the passport is unnecessary, and probably a bit high-brow for a young girl anyway. It is arrogant of us (Americans) to assume that everyone in the world wants to come here. Many still do, but not even close to a generation ago. This country is NOT seen as the shining beacon on the hill it once was. And with good reason. It no long IS the shining beacon on the hill. Eight years of quasi-fascism under GWB and all the hate and bile coming from the cretinous tea party have assured it.

susieLA343
susieLA343

Better a passport than a temporary work visa. 

cambrowarrior
cambrowarrior

Abrazar su herencia! Embrace your heritage! You can't have it both ways. You can't be proud of your ethnicity and at the same time be offended when someone takes notice of it in a way that is meant to promote it rather than insult it.

MikeAlan
MikeAlan

The doll also says Papi and mamacita

ExTaxConsultant
ExTaxConsultant

How about making an American Trust Fund Baby doll who has a Pay No Taxes card, and a "Get Into an Ivy League for Free" passport?

dionykraft
dionykraft

While we are at it produce a "Border Police Barbie" - sales should increase 100% with this add in accessory.  How about a clip in plastic insert so she looks pregnant?  Some could relate to that I am sure. It's only natural...

HelderSeba
HelderSeba

Do the American Barbies come with guns background check?  What's the passport for? It's a toy.

KarenKerr
KarenKerr

Now we are not even supposed to imagine a Mexican immigrant with a passport? We cannot refer to the illegal immigrants as illegal, we cannot enforce our immigration laws when it comes to Mexico, what else do they require us not to do. If I recall, the international Barbie dolls all come with a passport. Why not this one?

carlosv_sf
carlosv_sf

To put it into perspective, think about this as if you were a young woman in the 50's and Mattel presented you a doll with a pregnant posture, an apron and married rather than an educated woman, hence not thinking of yourself as educated but as limited to thinking of yourself as a married mother/wife void a career or education.  Or, think of this from the perspective of a young adult white/black/latino who is of low socio economic status and Mattel presented you a doll of a person holding food stamps, no education etc.  Same holds true for young Latino/Latina children or individuals interested in this doll, it limits or stereotypes how we view ourselves....a straight up micro-aggression on so many levels.  Trick is, you have to think about it, rather than succumb to the status of being a victim of our own freedom. 

BrittanyStidham
BrittanyStidham

This is so lame!  Now I can understand if she came hidden in back of a truck or crawling through a tunnel.  Come on people. there are more important things than arguing about a Barbie.  At least Mattel is trying to reflect how multi-cultural our world is rather than only having the white Barbie version. Seems like its not worth the crap,  If I were them I'd pull out of the deal and just stick with the normal white girl.  seems people complained less.  so much for trying Mattel.  Can't win for trying in this day of age.   

DavidRoot
DavidRoot

I would be more sympathetic to "it was jarring to see Mexico Barbie with a passport" if not for "the passport isn’t actually unique–all the dolls in the series come with one".   Are you sure you're being insulted?  Shouldn't all children from all cultures see the world as an adventure to be explored?  I would hope that there is an American Barbie that comes with her Passport as well.


KalendrixCook
KalendrixCook

Anybody else noticed that Controversy is spelled wrong in title?

Jillian4343
Jillian4343

Mattel has had this "Dolls of the World" line for at least 20 years in different forms.  I remember I had Dutch Barbie, and she wore traditional Dutch clothing.  And I always wanted Polish Barbie who was also dressed in traditional dress.  

As for the presence of a "passport," all the Barbies in this line had them.   This doll is not Mexican-American Barbie, but, Mexican Barbie.  I think, if she didn't have a passport, it would be suggesting that she is illegal.  And I certainly would find it MORE offensive to insinuate that most Mexicans in the US are here illegally.  

MaryjaneMorgan
MaryjaneMorgan

It's Mattels' right to create whatever kind of doll they prefer.  It is YOUR right if you want to buy it or not, stupid people.  I am so sick of everyone being so sensitive.

Hermione
Hermione

But the passports were issued for every doll, including those representing other nations besides Mexico.  So what is the controversy about exactly?

Look, we have people blowing up innocent people out in the streets - read about the Boston Marathon tragedy.  We have bigger issues to deal with at this time.

Hermione
Hermione

But the passports were issued for every doll, including those representing other nations besides Mexico.  So what is the controversy about exactly?

Look, we have people blowing up innocent people out in the streets - read about the Boston Marathon tragedy.  We have bigger issues to deal with at this time.

Xapito
Xapito

Look at all the polls on most websites, you will see that nobody finds these dolls offensive (Ok maybe like 4% of people) . It also appears to me that most of the news outlets reporting this "controversy"  come from areas of the country very a small percentage of Mexican-Americans. Point being, I think the "community" making the most noise about this controversy is the Ultra Sensitive White Liberal PC Police. Just look at how far they had to dip into obscurity to get a quote from a "Mexican-American". MamasLatinas... please... (FYI I come from a city that is over 90% Hispanic, and none of use call ourselves "Latino/Latina")

I am a South Texas Hispanic, and I just bought two of these dolls for my sisters



Read more: http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/04/15/mexico-barbie-doll-sparks-online-controvery/#ixzz2QXp3xuqB

phoenix1920
phoenix1920

Are you kidding me?  There are only three options here: (1) have a Mexican Barbie with a passport, like all other nationalities that have already been sold; (2) have a Mexican Barbie without a passport--although all other nationalities have one, or (3) don't produce a Mexican Barbie at all because of the passport issue.  Which option do the critics want?

mrsfluffy806
mrsfluffy806

This is so stupid. A quick check online confirms that all the dolls in this collection (France, Spain, etc) have passports. And it's "oversimplified" because it has to be. It's meant for KIDS and to help introduce them to different cultures and invites them to learn more about each culture.

SamHarris
SamHarris

@susieLA343why? They would do work Americans certainly wouldn't do! I hardly see any white people working in the fields or cleaning homes majority of the time! Mexicans are hard workers they are not lazy!

Ana_Rangel
Ana_Rangel

@KarenKerr It's very hard to read this kind of racist thinking, considering that you are a black woman. It's like ironic! ha ha. Just saw "12 years a slave" by the way..... It's sad what happened to your ancestors. I'm from Mexico and my ancestors have never been slaves, luckily, and we don't need your severity, we come from a better place and a better way of living, but a lot of people don't see things from a bigger perspective.

Janette
Janette

Last time I looked, all people that are not Americans need a passport to enter America. Jeez, even Americans need one to re-enter the country. Let's make the Mexican Barbie an 'illegal immigrant' and instead of a government issued passport, she has the forged passport and the social security number of some dead American she bought from the guy who promised her he'd smuggle her across the border because that version fits with the convoluted logic in your examples. You sound like you think Mexican Barbie is an American citizen and we're insulting her by giving her a passport. Here it is simplified for you: Not an American citizen = passport required.

cambrowarrior
cambrowarrior

@carlosv_sf  Well that's just silly. In the 50s, women were never portrayed as pregnant. You were never even talked about as "pregnant", you were "with child".

dgdoesstuff
dgdoesstuff

@carlosv_sf To put it in perspective, think about this: every single doll has a passport, no matter what country they're from. The only ones who whine about it are those who know they're doing something wrong with theirs in real life.


HelderSeba
HelderSeba

@MaryjaneMorgan if it's Mattels right to create whatever kind of doll they prefer, I won't be surprised if they come with "sex slave Barbie", "Raped Barbie". It's their right, correct?

small_axe
small_axe

Maybe in Texas, I wouldn't know, but in New York where I'm from, and definitely in Miami as well, the people I know from Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Cuba call themselves latino -- not hispanic.

GemmaT
GemmaT

@phoenix1920 Not too long ago Mattel came out with "Oreo" Barbie. Barbies in different colors came with an Oreo-cookie branded package and accessories. What Mattel failed to realize before distributing the dolls is that "Oreo" has offensive connotations in certain contexts to many black people. So a black "Oreo Barbie" had a different meaning than a white "Oreo Barbie". They eventually pulled the black doll from the shelves. 

formerlyjames
formerlyjames

@phoenix1920 

I get your point, but another option would be to sell the passports as an optional accessory))).

cambrowarrior
cambrowarrior

@formerlyjames @phoenix1920 Comes free with the doll, throw the passport away if you don't want it. Unless you think you need to keep it for when the doll inspector asks to see it while you're out walking your dog.