'Mexico Barbie' stirs up controversy

Credit: Mattel

Mexico Barbie

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by AMY COWMAN / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @amywcnc

WCNC.com

Posted on April 11, 2013 at 7:35 PM

Updated Sunday, Nov 3 at 12:53 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Almost every young girl wants a Barbie doll, and for years there's been debate over what image it sends to young girls. Now there's a new line, “Dolls of the World”, and one in particular is stirring up controversy.

"When we give a girl a doll, we give her a message,” said UNCC Professor and Latino Author, Rosie Molinary.
 
The debate over Barbie and the image she gives to young girls isn't a new one, but the latest debate is over a new line of international Dolls of the World, and Mexico Barbie.

With her traditional dress and holding a Chihuahua, Molinary says it doesn't portray a modern image.
 
"The Mexican woman is dolled up in this pretty dress with the ribbons in her hair and has sort of trophy dog with her and for me, it sort of took my breath because I feel like I've fought so long in my life to not be put in that box,"  Molinary expressed.
 
That doesn't seem to bother Alicia Hernandez who is from Mexico and has four daughters.
 
"I would buy that for my daughters because we are Mexican and we like Chihuahuas and some people dress like that in Mexico," said Hernandez.
 
What bothers her is the fact that the doll comes with a passport.
 
"You can do the Barbie with different cultures, whatever, but the thing with passport, I don't think it’s a good idea, I think that's like discrimination or something," said Hernandez.
 
To be fair, the entire line of Mattel Dolls of the World, ranging from Australia to France, come with a passport and a pet.
 
"We consulted with the Mexican embassy on the Dolls of the World Mexico Barbie, especially with respect to the selection of the Chihuahua," said a Mattel spokesperson.
 
And they say the intent of the dolls is to celebrate different cultures, but Molinary says it could have been done better.
 
"I understand the intent and I'm discouraged by the stereotypical nature," said Molinary.
 
Other countries in the Dolls of the World collection include Argentina, Australia, Chile, China, Holland, India and Ireland.

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