On Thursday (September 12), Mattel introduced a new Barbie online in honor of Día de Muertos, the 3,000-year-old holiday when many Mexicans honor deceased ancestors. The New York Times reports that the latest limited-edition doll is fashioned after La Catrina and features traditional face-paint and a black mermaid dress decorated with butterflies and flowers.
“We often look at different ways to continue to engage girls and families to gain knowledge and celebrate other cultures and other parts of the world,” Michelle Chidoni, a spokesperson for the company told The Times. “Our hope is for this Día de Muertos Barbie to honor the holiday for the millions that celebrate and to introduce people not familiar with the tradition to the rich meaning.”
Some people accused the toy company of cultural appropriation, pointing out the doll’s $75 price tag. “It’s obviously cultural appropriation, but—cómo te digo?” Mariluz Gonzalez, co-host of late-night radio show “Travel Tips for Aztlan,” told The Times. “It’s what our country loves to do. It’s all about marketing.”
But many praised the doll on social media.
Went to 2 Walmarts this morning at 6am for the Día De Los Muertos doll and they knew nothing about the #barbie. They even called headquarters and were told it was only an online item but I don’t see it online! So very disappointed! #Diadelosmuertos
— Tacha (@Tacha20015) September 12, 2019
— Elizabeth (@elievegas13) September 12, 2019
Love this Barbie. 🥰💀#Diadelosmuertos
— Alicia Rivera (@Alicestar13) September 11, 2019