Is Mexico Barbie a stereotype or just celebrating international heritage?

Mattel’s “Dolls of the World” line, which was introduced 30 years ago is being criticized for Mexico Barble. All of the Dolls of the World Barbies are dressed in traditional garb and carry a passport.

From Today.com:

“Poor Mexico Barbie. She just wants to teach girls “about the culture, traditions and ancestral dress of Mexico,” according to her online description. Little did she know her two possessions, a passport and a Chihuahua, would stir up an argument over cultural diversity.”

“China Barbie, for example, wears a red silk embroidered gown and comes packaged with a panda tucked under her arm. India Barbie wears a sari and has a pet monkey. The beret-capped French Barbie does not come with an animal, but can offer buyers a basket of baguettes instead.

“Mexico Barbie has long, black wavy hair, tied back in a purple bow, and is “dressed for a fabulous fiesta” in a pink dress with ruffles, ribbons and lace. However, her accessories of a Chihuahua dog and a “passport and sticker sheet to help record Barbie doll’s travels” have raised eyebrows.

All Barbies in the “Dolls of the World” collection come with passports, but some people are wondering whether it’s appropriate for Mexico Barbie to have one because of the current immigration debate.”

There is a photo of the doll on the Today.com website. I think she is pretty. If all the dolls in that line come with the passport then I don’t think it’s being racist for her to have it. It’s just what comes with the line. I think the Chihuahua could be a little more questionable but it is a Mexican breed.

Somehow American Girl has managed to carry off dolls of color without generally offending people. They have their historical dolls lines that includes Josefina, who is from New Mexico and she is in traditional garb. There is also Kaya, who is Native American and in her traditional garb. There is also Rebecca Rubin who is Jewish. See what you think of her outfit – is it stereotypical or because from a particular era, it’s not an issue?

What do you think? Is this completely a non-problem or do you find Mexico Barbie to be stereotypical? Would you buy Mexico Barbie for your child? Would you buy the French, Chinese or Indian dolls?

50 comments Add your comment

DB

April 12th, 2013
9:10 am

I think people look for reasons to get insulted — and this is one of them. It’s a non-issue. What else was she supposed to carry — a burrito?

HB

April 12th, 2013
9:13 am

I’m confused about the passport. If all the other Barbies have one, wouldn’t it be offensive if only Mexico Barbie didn’t?

Regina

April 12th, 2013
9:15 am

The depiction of Mexico Barbie is fine. This sensitivity to any little thing is sad. Immigration reform is needed. However, I feel Americans are being forced to accept a group of people who have illegally become a part of America simply by their proximity to this country. I also resent the comparison to the Civil Rights movement. Conservatives complain about illegal immigration which is partially their fault for wanting cheap labor. By far, most Blacks, I for one, are against any kind of pathway to citizenship except by the process in place. I feel for those brought here as young children. They should be given an opportunity.

Wow, two Barbie...

April 12th, 2013
9:15 am

…blog topics in one week…

QB

April 12th, 2013
9:18 am

No one else here from Mexico has any documentation so why should Mex Barbie pretend to be any different? Ba-ZING!

DB

April 12th, 2013
10:00 am

@Regina: “I feel for those brought here as young children.” I do, too — but while it wasn’t their fault if their parents entered illegally, it doesn’t erase the fact that the person IS here illegally. Let ‘em blame their parents for making poor decisions — it isn’t the United State’s fault that their parents broke a well-understood law. It’s not that hard a concept. The American government’s lack of response on this issue is, to me, stunning, and their inaction in the face of blatant flouting of the law has only encouraged further incursions, because illegal immigrants KNOW that if they can get in and get a foothold, America is going to look the other way. If, on the other hand, America actually enforced their own laws, perhaps there’d be a decrease in the number of people entering illegally, because they know that if they are caught, the response is swift and uncompromising: Back you go. If you enter legally and go through the process, then you will earn citizenship. Why is this so hard?! Citizenship in this country is a PRIVILEGE, not a RIGHT. Americans are a generous people, but being a generous host doesn’t mean that the guest should allowed to bleed you dry, as in the hospitals and schools of California and Texas.

Eleni

April 12th, 2013
10:21 am

Isn’t Chihuahua a place in Mexico as well as where the breed of dog came from? So what is the problem?

Techmom

April 12th, 2013
10:34 am

“…introduced 30 years ago is being criticized for Mexico Barbie” So is the Mexican Barbie new or from 30 years ago? And who exactly is complaining? I’d love to hear the suggestion as to how she should be dressed and what her accessories should be. I am so sick of people being offended for every single little thing these days. It’s a DOLL! Get over yourselves and find something important to put your energy into!

Lyons

April 12th, 2013
10:35 am

Only the hypersensitive could be offended about Mexico Barbie, they seriously need to find a worthier topic to complain about.

Me

April 12th, 2013
10:57 am

Are they not all sterotypes to a certain degree anyway? The doll from China looks, well, Chinese; the doll from Holland looks, well, Dutch; the doll from Mexico looks, no surprise, Mexican.
And, as per one of your examples, Kaya looks “Native American”. We once would have simply classified her as being “Indian”, which isn’t the least bit negative, yet somehow still offensive.
I do, however, question just what in the world is so “historical” as it relates to Josefina and New Mexico.

Mayhem

April 12th, 2013
11:12 am

@Me – How exactly does a Dutch Person look? LOL. I happen to be 100% Dutch. I wonder, is it blonde hair and green eyes? LOL. I guess then all Barbies with blonde hair are Dutch?????

WhHen I was younger, I had a beautiful sent of “International Dolls” that my Grandmother had given me. At the time, I know she spent a pretty penny on them, maybe $30 (back in the 60’s). They weren’t for play (I never played with dolls anyways, to this day, they are still too creepy for me), but to admire up on a shelf. Each one was dressed per her culture and they were BEAUTIFUL. I had them in my room until I was about 12/13. I wonder what ever happened to all those dolls. I’ll have to ask my Mom this weekend….

MANGLER

April 12th, 2013
11:12 am

Does American Barbie have a spray tan, belly button ring, DG bag and a Big Mac?

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

April 12th, 2013
11:51 am

Techmom — I believe the line was introduced 30 years ago and she is new. I think American Girls does historic dolls so people will complain less.

AWallStGuy

April 12th, 2013
11:57 am

Oh God, can you liberals find something other than Race to Whine about…if you have a problem with it dont buy one!!!

This country is one gigantic group of soft wusses…

MamaS

April 12th, 2013
11:59 am

I would certainly buy it for my granddaughter, who is Hispanic. As for the passport, I think it is a reflection of “political correctness”. My daughter (legally adopted and has had US citizenship for 35 years) was advised to carry “legal proof” of citizenship, such as a passport, when she traveled in Texas, Arizona, or New Mexico. Because of her looks, she constantly has to proof her citizenship. I look Caucasian and even when we are vacationing together, I have never been asked to prove my right to be on US soil. Just one of the reasons we will NOT take my granddaughter to Texas or NM.

Me

April 12th, 2013
12:08 pm

@Mayhem — I get your point but you know my intent! And, of course not all Barbie’s with blonde hair are Dutch; only the ones speaking Dutch, carrying Tulips, and wearing wooden clogs!!

jarvis

April 12th, 2013
12:24 pm

If this offends them, they should be glad they went with the Yucatan model.

The prototype was from a border town. Barbie was blindfolded and instead of a chihuahua it came with a donkey (also blindfolded).

Incidentally they were also goo g to offer a Ken doll version. Sadly it was just his head.

Georgia

April 12th, 2013
1:30 pm

Mexico Barbie is offensive because it comes with a ladder and a shovel. What’s next, drug-mule barbie? Is there no end to the horror of republican corporate laissez faire policies?

Denise

April 12th, 2013
1:57 pm

The passport is unnecessary to make the doll a representative of Mexican culture. I don’t care what the “reason” is, it just isn’t necessary to make the doll what they want it to be. But no, she doesn’t need a burrito (I can’t remember who wrote that). THAT would have been out of order and would have opened the door for more foolery.

Mayhem

April 12th, 2013
2:10 pm

@Me – LOL…..

Mexican Barbie should come with a coyote, you know, the ones that are paid to bring them over the border. OR she should come pregnant along with 5 other babies attached to her legs, and tons of candy and sodas.

@Jarvis – love the Ken doll comment…only his head….hahahahahhaa. Good one.

QB

April 12th, 2013
2:18 pm

Here’ the catch, when you buy one it’s free to you but everyone else in the store has to chip in to pay for it. Ba- Zing!

Joyce

April 12th, 2013
5:15 pm

Mexican Barbie is fine; what I find offensive are the last several comments (pregnant, drug trafficking). :(

elgrunir

April 12th, 2013
5:19 pm

Sure thing, Wall St.

Republican Red-Staters -never- complain about race. I mean, y’all have been -so- nice to Obama, especially since he’s half-black. Never seen derogatory placards, never heard public statements (Mitch McConnell, etc.).

Oh, wait…

catlady

April 12th, 2013
8:13 pm

A chihuahua and a passport? How amazingly idiotic!

Regina

April 12th, 2013
10:31 pm

@DB, I agree with you. However, it seems in order to show goodwill, America has to compromise with the young people who reside in America illegally. If amnesty is given, part of the deal should be those given the special treatment can not sponsor other family members in the future.

Democrats are pushing for amnesty because it increases the number of voters for the party. The Catholic church is pushing for amnesty because the majority of illegals are Catholic. Pseudo Black leaders are pushing for amnesty because they think minorities who are illegal will bond with American minorities.

Latinos, the illegal majority, bring many of the troubles from their own countries to America. We have enough to deal with in our country with our own poor, illiterate and criminals. I understand they want a better life, but they should stay in their own countries and work to make their countries better.

Asian girl

April 13th, 2013
1:44 pm

The Chinese Barbie looks like Suzie Wong, Asian female stereotype of a sexy submissive woman that knows how to take care of a man.

DB

April 13th, 2013
2:07 pm

@elgrunir: Yeah, and the left was soooo polite to George Bush, too, right? Oh, wait . . . so what, can dish it out but can’t take it? Respect for the office of the Presidency has gone out the window.

@Regina: Explain to me why we have to show “goodwill” to people who are breaking the law? I’m sorry, but do we have to show “goodwill” to a thief who breaks into our house to steal our TV? It’s a law, well defined and well understood. Why does it require compromise? There is a path to citizenship.

elgrunir

April 13th, 2013
6:28 pm

@DB: please name one instance where someone overtly or covertly complained about Bush’s race. Or for that matter, how about any other president’s birth certificate? There’s a difference between respecting the office of the president and evaluating (and deciding whether or not to respect) the actions.

I agree completely with you regarding illegal immigrants.

Georgia

April 13th, 2013
7:43 pm

TWG., I hope you’re proud of yourself.

Realist

April 13th, 2013
7:48 pm

Hey, she doesn’t come with a bag of oranges, a green card, a sack of tortillas, a can of refried beans, a burro, or 7 kids all under the age of 8 so what’s the big deal? The state of Chihuahua is where the dog comes from and a passport shows that she is a citizen of a country. People really need to lighten up.

Racist

April 13th, 2013
7:49 pm

Vietnamese Barbie rove you rong time.

Pride and Joy

April 13th, 2013
8:54 pm

Pride and Joy

April 13th, 2013
8:59 pm

Dave

April 13th, 2013
10:01 pm

If they’d given every doll except the Mexican doll a passport, critics would have accused them of reinforcing the illegal immigrant/undocumented worker stereotype. Sometimes you can’t win.

Kev

April 14th, 2013
5:12 am

Instead of throwing away billions of dollars on this “drug war”, couldn’t we help Mexico with their economy to give a reason for the people who live there to stay there? I would rather the money go there than half-way round the world. Just legalizing marijuana, regulating, and taxing it would help.

doug

April 14th, 2013
6:08 am

Does DB stand for Dumb Bigot?

MUSTANG100

April 14th, 2013
6:24 am

Would Libbos feel better if she was accessorized with her belongings in a garbage bag and a hoe?

Dr. Socrates

April 14th, 2013
6:34 am

How ’bout she come with a snorkel so she can navigate the Rio Grande?

Escapeplan

April 14th, 2013
7:23 am

Everyone KNOWS that the Mexican Barbie would not have a passport. That’s totally unrealistic. If you cut her open, does she have little baggies filled with cocaine in her stomach?

Does the liberal media really have so much time on their hands that they have to create controversies where none really exist?

Regina

April 14th, 2013
8:16 am

@DB, I don’t feel we should make a goodwill gesture to lawbreakers but that seems to be the only compromise to this immigration mess and to get congress to act.

It is about to be a big mess. Americans elected leaders who don’t listen to constituents. The rich don’t care because they are far removed from the reality of middle class Americans. A person is considered racist if one doesn’t agree with amnesty. I have friends who followed the process and waited years to get a green card. The issue is to clear out the government workers who aren’t effective in their jobs and streamline the current process.

Regina

April 14th, 2013
8:37 am

President Reagan, in 1986, signed a flimsy law creating a bigger illegal immigration mess. Ultra-liberal democrats continued the issue. Both parties are to blame!

misty fyed

April 14th, 2013
8:40 am

It’s sad that some people can only feel relevant if they are offended. We need to start ignoring these cries for attention and maybe they will move on to something more productive.

Steven

April 14th, 2013
8:43 am

Next I want to see a Hall County Barbie, complete with feathered hair, cankles, an unopened Bible and a bucket of fried chicken. Of course she’d need a “Made in the USA” t-shirt and a Wal-Mart buggy where she buys the fine Chinese made products. The special edition version would have a RNC flag with coordinating GED paperwork!

Jeff

April 14th, 2013
10:40 am

Steven, i don’t care who you are, that’s funny.

Sandra

April 14th, 2013
10:59 am

I haven’t posted on here in a long time and I know that this is now “old” and I’m off topic (brought up by other posters) but an amnesty will just irritate the heck out of me. My mom is Vietnamese and was an immigrant but a large part of my dad’s family has been in the United States since before there was a United States. I have ancestors who’s names are on founder’s plaques of towns and other that fought in the Revolution. If I want to come home from the UK with my family ( my husband is English but the kids have US citizenship also ), my husband and I will have to jump through hoops. Which would seem to be grossly unfair.

Regina

April 14th, 2013
11:47 am

Along with this push for reform, an amendment should be passed which changes birthright citizenship. One or both parents must be U. S. citizens.

Families are not forced apart because parents can make a choice…take the children when they return to your country. This is not slavery where Blacks families were forced apart through the selling of slaves.

beth

April 14th, 2013
1:59 pm

They all come with passports and most come with an animal. This is a NON ISSUE.

10:10 am

April 14th, 2013
6:51 pm

The racial grievance industry will exploit anything at all. Meanwhile, I’m sure the Barbies will sell like churros in Mexico.

Jimnalph

April 14th, 2013
7:51 pm

This is just plain stupid. If Mexico Barbie is a stereotype, racist, or whatever you want to call it, then plain old white Barbie is equally stereotypical, racist or whatever someone wants to call it too. No one has ever said that. just get over it people, we’re all a little bit different and that is the way God made us. do you really think God is up there making little racist dolls out of us?!

Catherine

April 17th, 2013
9:06 am

To my 8-year-old, it’s just another doll/toy that comes with cool accessories in a package. I bought her several of those Dolls of the World Barbies, with different outfits and skin colors. They are gorgeous, she is happy and treasures them all. To me, that’ what matters.