Mattel Comes Out With Dia De Los Muertos Barbie This Week
Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, has gone mainstream. The traditional Mexican holiday that celebrates and honors family and loved ones who have passed away has become as much a part of the Halloween holiday as trick or treating, but now, Mattel is getting ready to put their spin on Dia de los Muertos.
On Thursday, September 12, a special edition Dia de los Muertos Barbie will hit the shelves and it looks like their going to be gone in the blink of an eye. The limited-edition Barbie is causing all kinds of FOMO on social medial and people are already talking about lining up at stores to get their Day of the Dead Barbie. The dolls will cost $75 but some people say that it's cultural appropriation by Mattel. There are some on Twitter who say that Dia de los Muertos is a sacred religious celebration that shouldn't be used to make money for a toy maker.
The Dia de los Muertos Barbie which is styled like La Catrina is gorgeous. She has the traditional long dress, the painted sugar-skull face, and a crown of marigolds and monarch butterflies. But La Catrina wasn't originally something that was embraced by Mexicans. She is actually a caricature drawn by a Mexican artist who was making fun of upper class Mexican ladies who painted their faces to lighten their skin and try to look like wealthy Europeans. The artist felt like the women were turning their backs on their native Mexican heritage and that's why he developed La Catrina.
I don't think that a Dia de los Muertos Barbie is cultural appropriation. I think it's one more step to bringing Mexican culture to the rest of the country. We are supposed to be a melting pot and if you know anything about cooking you know that there aren't little areas of a pot with different ingredients. They are all mixed together to form something amazing. I think this is just another note of spice in the American melting pot.