Barbie Celebrates Hispanic Inclusivity with Día de Los Muertos Doll

Do you remember what your first Barbie doll looked like? If it was anything like mine, it probably had long, blonde hair and big, blue eyes. Our childhood Barbie dolls were usually clad in sparkly dresses or beachy outfits. Most of us probably wished for a Barbie doll that looked similar to us and recently, big strides have been taken to make that happen. As of last week, Mattel, the maker of Barbie dolls, is bringing a revolutionary and progressive change to the blonde, blue-eyed dolls we grew up with. 

Mattel announced that they will be releasing a collectible Día de Los Muertos doll. The doll is set to hit stores this Thursday, Sep. 12. The design of the doll is a tribute to the traditional decorations of the Hispanic holiday. Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a Mexican holiday that begins on Oct. 31 and ends on Nov. 2. The holiday gives family members of the deceased a chance to pray for their loved one’s salvation and spiritual journey. The Day of the Dead isn’t a solemn or mournful event, but a day focused around positive remembrance and gratitude for deceased family members!

Courtesy: CBS News

A key decorative aspect of Día de Los Muertos can be seen directly on the new Barbie’s face. The special edition doll has a face that features a sugar skull, a commonly used style element for the Hispanic holiday. These sugar skulls are different from traditional skeletons in that they usually include elements such as fun colors or decorations. The decorations can range from anything like flowers and insects to unique and colorful patterns. The doll also features a long, embroidered dress whose shape gives off mermaid-style wedding dress vibes. The dress has a striking contrast within it that somewhat embodies the meaning and purpose of the Mexican holiday. The primary color of the doll’s dress is black, a color that’s commonly associated with death. But the dress also includes elements of fun and cheery colors and patterns. This design contrast is indicative of the holiday’s focus on the death of a loved one and also its focus on the beauty and naturality of that family member’s passing. 

Courtesy: Hole in the Donut Cultural Travel

Mattel’s decision to include a Barbie doll dressed in the garb of a traditional Mexican holiday is indicative of increasing inclusivity on behalf of popular brands. Hispanic heritage month is coming up soon, starting on Sep. 15 and the introduction of a Día de Los Muertos doll is a progressive attempt at respectfully paying tribute to Hispanic culture. The photo of the doll is circulating all over social media outlets and seems to be super popular with some of the general public. Others aren’t so happy, arguing that the doll is culturally appropriative and only exists to monetize a Hispanic holiday. At the end of the day, it’s up to individual consumers to decide whether the doll is respectfully inclusive, or if it’s mainly geared towards profit. 

If you do happen to be interested in the new doll, don’t forget to grab one starting this Thursday, Sep. 12 at retailers where the Barbie brand is sold!

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