Mexico Barbie Stirs Controversy of Stereotypes

Mexico Barbie Stirs Controversy of Stereotypes

The number one toy on Amazon is at the center of a cultural controversy. "Mexico Barbie" is creating a national dialogue about Mexican stereotypes.
MEMPHIS, TN— The number one toy on Amazon is at the center of a cultural controversy. "Mexico Barbie" is creating a national dialogue about Mexican stereotypes. The Barbie is decked out in a bright pink ruffled dress, a Chihuahua, and a passport.

"I mean the Chihuahua, yes we're stretching it, but at least a little girl can get it: Barbie is walking the dog or whatever. But I mean the passport? What are you going to do with a passport?” stated Fabiola Cervantes organizer of Workers Interfaith Network in Memphis, a non-profit organization that fights for workers rights.

Cervantes says Mattel, the maker of Barbie, is stereotyping Mexicans and all the cultures.

"It’s just keeping us in that little box: Mexicans look like this, Irish people look like this, Russians look like this, and so on. It's not the way it is anymore,” she said. “I remember having a Barbie doll that was Mexican when I was young but it didn't have a Chihuahua and it didn't have a passport."

Mexico Barbie and all the "Dolls of the World" collection come with passports, something that 11 million undocumented people in the U.S. would like to get. Mexico Barbie's debut comes at a time when thousands of immigration reform advocates are lobbying Congress.

"Right now there are a lot of immigration issues going on in our country so the fact that it came out now is kind of insensitive,” said Cervantes.

But for other people, Mexico Barbie is a wonderful way to celebrate another culture: pink dress, passport, Chihuahua, and all.

"I have the Australian Barbie and as old as I am I still collect them. She has a passport too,” said a Barbie supporter Leslie Blaylock. “That [passport] shouldn't matter. Mexico Barbie is a beautiful Barbie, very beautiful. It's just two unrelated things, so it shouldn't matter."

A bipartisan group of senators are working on finalizing an agreement to overhaul the country's immigration law for the first time since 1986. Some senators predicted a compromise would become law by the end of the year.
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