Mattel, in a nod to International Women’s Day, has introduced several new Barbie Dolls, including ones representing two Mexican icons, Tapatia golfer Lorena Ochoa and artist Frida Kahlo.
The release is divided into two categories: “Shero” and “Inspiring Women.” The former is made up of 12 facsimiles of women currently in the public eye, while the latter group consists of just three historical icons.
It would take a pathological case of obliviousness on the part of the Mattel people to miss the irony of a Frida Kahlo Barbie. The artist was known for her flouting of any and all standard ideas of beauty, especially ones derived from stateside taste makers, who prize(d) blonde, blue-eyed WASPiness above all else. One of her more well-known physical attributes was her unapologetically flamboyant uni-brow, which Frida Barbie couldn’t quite bring herself to totally own – the two dark lines drawn above the doll’s vacant eyes are clearly separated by a swatch of creamy, hair-free skin, while pictures of the real Kahlo reveal a substantial bridge of black follicles between her pitiless, sarcastic gaze.
Golfer Ochoa’s avatar, meanwhile, comes complete with a white baseball cap emblazoned with corporate sponsorship courtesy of Citi. Ochoa, along with, among others, Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins, San Francisco Ballet prima ballerina Yuan Yuan Tan and Italian soccer champion Sara Gama, is classified as a Shero.
The Inspiring Women category is made up of Kahlo, aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart and Katherine Johnson, NASA mathematician and physicist.
It is notable that seven out of the 12 Sheros are either athletes, actresses or dancers, all professions which make strict demands on a woman’s physique. A quick Google search reveals that, with one exception, the rest of the women in this category are similarly “fit.”
The doll representing the exception, Michelin-starred chef Helene Darroze, clearly subsists on a strict diet of cucumber water and carrot shavings, rather than the no-doubt robust diet of an award-winning French chef.
The dolls will be released April 20. Each figurine comes with its own educational pamphlet dealing with their real-world counterparts’ achievements.