Frida Kahlo Barbie: Salma Hayek and Twitterati slam Mattel for ignoring her uniqueness and unibrow

Sharing a photo of the Frida Kahlo Barbie on Instagram, Salma Hayek who played Kahlo in her biopic, wrote, “#fridakahlo never tried to be or look like anyone else.” Many others joined in and slammed the company for using her image but not adhering to her look and style, specially her unibrow and upper lip hair.

Written by Shreya Das | New Delhi | Published: March 12, 2018 8:13:12 pm
frida kahlo, salma hayek, barbie, frida kahlo barbie, frida kahlo barbie controversy, frida kahlo barbie row, frida barbie criticism, viral news, indian express Many on social media, including actor Salma Hayek, criticised the doll and complained it’s more Barbie-like than Frida Kahlo-like. (Source: Rajan Sharma/ Indian Express)

After years of receiving backlash for promoting ‘unreal’ body image and beauty standards among children, on International Women’s Day 2018, Mattel, the creators of Barbie, finally came out with dolls to honour real icons. After a long survey that suggested mothers were unhappy that their kids do not have dolls with real inspiring women whom they would aspire to be, the big toy corporation launched 17 new models.

Featuring renowned figures such as Chloe Kim, Patty Jenkins and Frida Kahlo, the company aims to show girls that they can be anything. However, one doll inspired by Frida Kahlo is now caught in controversy. First, the descendent of the great Mexican artist objected using her image and claimed it was a copyright infrignment, a claim the corporate giant refuted. Now, actor Salma Hayek, who portrayed Kahlo on silver screen too came out to slam the company.

Sharing a photo of the Frida Kahlo Barbie on Instagram, the Beatriz at Dinner actor wrote, “#fridakahlo never tried to be or look like anyone else.” The 51-year-old superstar who played iconic Kahlo in her 2002 biopic added, “She celebrated her uniqueness. How could they turn her into a Barbie? [SIC]”.

Hayek was not the only one who raised her concern about Kahlo’s image being used by a big corporate house. Kahlo was a life-long Communist and spent years fighting capitalism and a company using her image for commercial gain seemed quite ironic to many.

Many on social media criticised the doll and complained it’s more Barbie-like than Frida Kahlo-like. The designers tried to include her style or fashion sense using a floral headband, but did not include Kahlo’s heavy, conjoined eyebrows. A few Kahlo fans also slammed the company for ignoring artist’s disability and suggested that it was a wrong way to honour the legend. Many also argued the costume doesn’t accurately portray the elaborate Tehuana-style dresses the artist wore.

Kahlo’s great-niece Mara de Anda Romeo said Mattel doesn’t have the rights to use Kahlo’s image and wants the company to change the way the doll looks. Pablo Sangri, a lawyer for de Anda Romeo, said his client doesn’t seek money, but wants Mattel to talk about redesigning the doll.

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