The dolls were inspired by a survey Mattel did.
The brand surveyed around 8,000 mothers around the world and in their research found that 86% of those mothers were concerned “about the kind of role models their daughters are exposed to.” Thus, the idea of creating Barbie dolls inspired by real-life role models came to be.
The Frida doll is absolutely stunning and the blurb on the site nails what she represents..
"Frida Kahlo, was and continues to be a symbol of strength, originality, and unwavering passion," it says on Barbie.mattel.com. "Overcoming a number of obstacles to follow her dream of becoming a fine artist, Frida persevered and gained recognition for her unique style and perspective. With her vibrant palette and mix of realism and fantasy, she addressed important topics like identity, class, and race, making her voice, and the voices of girls and women alike, heard." I couldn’t agree more!
But not everyone is happy with the doll.
Lots of folks feel the doll was too glamourized and doesn’t physically resemble the real Frida at all. In fact, Allure expressed their disappointment in seeing a lack of unibrow and facial hair on the Frida Barbie. "Though her contributions to art and culture were what truly made Kahlo such a significant historical figure, her striking and beautiful refusal to give in to certain sexist societal pressures were also noteworthy--and most depictions of the artist prominently feature a unibrow and upper lip hair to honor that,” Rosemary Donahue at Allure wrote. "However, a closer look at Frida Kahlo’s doll reveals something a little troubling. Kahlo’s doll doppelgänger, however, seems to have just a few hairs above her nose at the brow line, making her look more or less like so many other Barbies.” Listen, I get it.
Others are claiming that the dolls are “frightfully thin.”
Sure, the dolls are super glamorized and skinny but that’s the case with a majority of the dolls created by Barbie. I'm not excusing it, I'm just saying that's a totally separate conversation that needs to be had. In the meantime, let’s take a second to really embrace this milestone. There are now Barbie dolls inspired by real-life female heroines, and that alone is a step in the right direction. We’ll deal with the glamourizing and the thinness of the dolls later. For now can we just take in the fact that a Frida Kahlo Barbie doll actually exists. PLEASE?