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Judge Bans Frida Kahlo Barbie in Mexico Due to Family’s Lawsuit


From the moment Mattel announced they were going to be released a Frida Kahlo Barbie doll, I have had my concerns. There is something very … unsettling about an American company taking the image of a Mexican communist woman, who had emotional and physical issues surrounding her own body, and turning her into a Barbie—even with the best intentions.

Well, a judge banned the sale of the Frida Kahlo inspired Barbie in Mexico, by recognizing Kahlo’s family as sole owners of the famous artist’s image, according to The Yucatan Times. While this ruling has an immediate effect in Mexico, it is possible that Mattel could appeal the judge’s decision. But when that’s all over, the Kahlo family is planning to challenge Mattel on the company’s home turf in the United States.

The judge’s order tells  Mattel and distributors “to refrain from any act tending to use the brand, image and/or work of Frida Kahlo.”

“I am delighted because I believe that justice is being carried out (…), the only people who have the rights for Frida’s image is the Kahlo family,” says Mara Romeo Pinedo, Frida Kahlo’s niece.

“The only thing that the family is asking for is congruence. That if some kind of product is made, it has to be consistent with Frida’s image, with her way of being,” added Mara de Anda Romeo, Frida Kahlo’s great-granddaughter niece. She also explained that the Barbie should also be more realistic and authentic to Khalo’s own look: “It would have to be more ‘Mexican’ in many ways, a little darker, with a larger eyebrow, not so thin because Frida was not that thin, maybe with one leg shorter than the other, and dressed with Mexican jewelry.”

I agree with all of this, because if Barbie and Mattel want to be more inclusive in terms of representing women, then it should be an authentic representation of those women. Especially someone like Frida Khalo whose work revolved around her own image.

(via Yucatan Times, image: Barbie/Mattel)

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Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.