Things That Matter

Mattel Is Releasing A Day Of The Dead Barbie Doll And You Better Believe Latinas Are Divided About It As Heck

If you’d like to pinpoint at least two things that make us love  Mexican culture we’d have to say it is Frida Kahlo and Dia de Los Muertos. Both things perfectly embody the vibrancy and tradition of Mexican history and heritage. Corporations, brands, etc., all understand the Mexican aesthetic and our attraction to it, or at least they think they do because Frida Kahlo and Dia de Los Muertos are appropriated and continuously exploited. We can’t necessarily blame them because we buy into it too. At least if it’s done correctly, and one needs to look no further than the success of Pixar’s “Coco.” 

Now there’s a new venture into this tradition, and frankly, we’re not all that surprised. 

Mattel is releasing a new Barbie with a Day of the Dead theme. 

Credit: Twitter/@sagadolls

Right off the bat, the doll is stunning. She looks like a quintessential Mexican goddess and is in head-to-toe Day of the Dead attire. Her makeup is spot on, but her dress resembles more a flamenco dress, which is Spanish, not Mexican. We also love the subtle touch of green in her hair and a new take on the flower crown, which includes marigold flowers and monarch butterflies. 

The Day of the Dead Barbie doll won’t be released for another month. 

The doll, which retails at $75.99, is part of a new lie of Barbies with fan-favorite themes including Stars Wars characters, Princess Leia, Darth Vader, and R2-D2. There’s also a Rosa Parks Barbie, which was released yesterday to celebrate Women’s Equality Day. Mattel also released Barbies of other inspiring women astronaut Sally Ride and Pro-golfer Lorena Ochoa. 

“Girls have always been able to play out different roles and careers with Barbie, and we are thrilled to shine a light on real-life role models to remind them that they can be anything,” Lisa McKnight, Senior Vice President And General Manager of Barbie, said in a statement to Time magazine

While Mattel is making strides for having Barbie dolls that are more inclusive and realistic to young women today, they received a lot of backlash last year for their Frida Kahlo Barbie doll. 

Credit: Twitter/@fatkideals

Critics said the doll was too picture-perfect and didn’t reflect the authentic way that Kahlo carried herself. Kahlo’s imperfections, including her unibrow and disabilities, were not reflected in the Barbie doll, which gave the impression that in order to be a Barbie, you have to be perfect. 

In order to attract more sales from the general public, Mattel decided to release a line of dolls with a body-positive message that implied you don’t have to be skinny to be a Barbie. 

Credit: Instagram/@barbie

The new collection of Barbies appeared with various body types, heights, skin tones, and hair textures. They also released a Barbie doll that wore a hijab. These changes are decades late, but we suppose it is better late than never? 

Mattell seemed only to make the Barbie doll more inclusive to diversity and body-positivity until their sales started plummeting. When they released parents weren’t buying Barbie dolls because they didn’t personify their kid, or anyone for that matter, and were turning to alternative toys, they changed up their whole game plan. 

In a 2016 exposé on Barbie, and their company changes for dolls, one mom that was part of Mattel’s focus group said that “If a black woman or a redheaded woman or a heavyset woman had shown up, my daughter would have been like, ‘Where’s Barbie?'”

Evelyn Mazzocco, head of the Barbie brand, admittedly said back then, “Yes, some people will say we are late to the game. But changes at a huge corporation take time.”

With Mattel’s new Day of the Dead Barbie, not everyone on social media is thrilled to see another Mexican tradition attracting to the corporate dollar. 

Some see this new Barbie doll as an exploitive move that is only geared at taking from Mexican culture and make billions in sales. Is it actually worth it?

Mexican culture is celebrated while the government continues to oppress Latinos. 

We’re all for celebrating our culture, but it should also be addressed that our government continues to oppress Latinos to no end. It’s kind of ironic that corporate America loves to bask in Mexican culture yet will fund racist leadership. 

Will you buy a Day of the Dead Barbie doll? We’re not quite sure just yet. Let us know in the comment section below!

READ: While Everyone Was Obsessing Over Barbie’s DreamHouse, We Had These Latino Dolls To Keep Us Entertained

 
 

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Here Are The Southern California Latino Politicians Gov. Newsom Should Consider For Kamala Harris’ Empty Seat

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Here Are The Southern California Latino Politicians Gov. Newsom Should Consider For Kamala Harris’ Empty Seat

Carlos Avila Gonzalez / The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

Now that Sen. Kamala Harris will Vice President-elect Harris, there is a lot of talk about who Gov. Gavin Newsom should appoint to the seat. There is a lot of pressure on Gov. Newsom to appoint a person of color and we agree. Here are six Latino politicians from Southern California that should be appointed to the vacant Senate seat.

Hilda Solis

Solis’s political career started in 1992 when she ran for and won a seat in the California State Assembly. In that position, Solis made her presence known and was a crucial voice in the debate on undocumented immigrants backing legislation to make college accessible to undocumented immigrants living in California. Since then, Solis has served in the California State Senate, represented California in the House of Representatives, served as Secretary of Labor under President Obama, and is currently on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

Solis has history, experience, and knowledge of politics from local to national levels. In that time, Solis has backed and written legislation and policies on every issue ranging from domestic violence to the environment.

Robert Garcia

Garica is the current mayor of Long Beach and has established himself on the international stage. As mayor of Long Beach, Garcia has worked tirelessly to address climate change and establish strong trade partnerships with countries around the world.

As an openly gay politician, Garcia has used his time in office to work to expand LGBTQ+ rights around the world. The mayor has visited Peru and Honduras Victory Institute and the State Department to take the fight to Latin America.

Nanette Barrágan

Barrágan is currently a congresswoman reprensenting California’s 44th congressional district. The congresswoman would bring a legal background often needed by members of the Senate. Barrágan started to get involved with politics working on African-American outreach for the Clinton administration. Barrágan also spent time working with the NAACP working on health policy and racial health disparities.

Barrágan was one of the members of Congress to go to the U.S.-Mexico border during the Trump administration. Barrágan recorded and exposed the conditions of people legally seeking asylum under Trump’s assault on migrants.

Kevin de León

De León started his political career in 2006 when he was elected to the California State Assembly. After a brief tenure, de León was elected to the California State Senate where he worked on a wide range of issues. De León worked with his colleagues on issues like affirmative consent, the environment, gun control, and transportation.

De León ran for the Senate in 2018 against Sen Dianne Feinstein and lost. Now, de León serves on the Los Angeles City Council filling José Huizar’s former seat. Huizar stepped down due to an investigation into corruption and birbery.

Norma Torres

Torres has had a steady career in politics starting on the Pomona City Council before becoming Mayor of Pomona. From there, Torres served in both the California State Assembly and State Senate before becoming a member of Congress representing California’s 35th congressional district.

As a member of Congress, Torres has worked on the following committees:

  • United States House Committee on Appropriations
    • Subcommittee on Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies
    • Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs
    • Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government
  • United States House Committee on Rules

Alex Padilla

Padilla has been a public servant for California for decades serving as president of the Los Angeles City Council before being part of the California State Senate. In 2015, Padilla became the Secretary of State of California. In 2017, Padilla pushed back against the Trump administration and refused to turn over voter data to the administration. He then went on to win reelection with 64.5 percent of the vote in 2018.

Padilla is currently the favorite to be Gov. Newsom’s choice to fill Vice President-elect Harris’ vacant seat in the Senate.

READ: Kamala Harris’s Husband Is Quitting His Job to Become America’s First ‘Second Gentleman’

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Maduro’s Attempts To Deprive Venezuelans Of Oxygen To Coerce Voters Rings Eerily Similar To Trump’s Threat To Withhold COVID Vaccines From New York

Things That Matter

Maduro’s Attempts To Deprive Venezuelans Of Oxygen To Coerce Voters Rings Eerily Similar To Trump’s Threat To Withhold COVID Vaccines From New York

JUAN BARRETO / Getty

It is one of the oldest binding oaths in history: the Hippocratic Oath outlines a physician’s duty to treat the ill to the best of one’s ability and to do no harm.

Still, somehow, 16 members of Cuba’s medical missions to Venezuela say that they were forced to abandon this promise while serving patients. A new report by the New York Times details how these physicians detailed a system of deliberate political manipulation in which Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro Moros used coercion of their services to encourage votes for his Socialist Party.

According to the doctors, various tactics were used to secure votes from patients including the denial of treatment for opposition supporters.

“The Cuban doctors said they were ordered to go door-to-door in impoverished neighborhoods, offering medicine and warning residents that they would be cut off from medical services if they did not vote for Mr. Maduro or his candidates,” writes the New York Times in their latest report about the ongoings in Venezuela. “Many said their superiors directed them to issue the same threats during closed-door consultations with patients seeking treatment for chronic diseases.”

One former Cuban supervisor reported that she and other foreign medical workers were provided with counterfeit identification cards so that they could vote in an election. Another doctor claimed that she was told to give elderly patients “detailed” voting instructions.

“These are the kinds of things you should never do in your life,” the doctor, who spoke to the NYT under the condition of anonymity, stated.

These accounts of manipulation and fraud under Maduro’s legitimate time as president serve as a sort of parallel to the ones Americans face post-2020 election.

Just as Biden supporters have had to combat Trump’s grossly false claims about a “rigged” election, Maduros’ opposition-controlled legislature have had to fight combat claims by Maduro and the results of his undemocratic election.

According to New York Times, “Mr. Maduro’s opponents often accuse Cuba — which has long depended on oil from Venezuela — of propping up his embattled government by sending agents to work with Venezuela’s intelligence agencies, helping its ideological ally crush dissent.”

Perhaps the most shocking aspect of the New York Times report are claims that doctors saw medical supplied hoarded until the May election. (Oddly similar to remarks that Trump has made about withholding a COVID-19 vaccine from New York City.) One physician, Dr. Yansnier Arias, claimed that his supervisors expressed a desire to “flood hospitals” with supplies just before the vote was made in order to make voters believe that Mr. Maduro had solved the country’s shortage difficulties.

“There was oxygen, but they didn’t let me use it,” Dr. Arias told New York Times.“We had to leave it for the election.”

According to New York Times, Dr. Arias defected from the Cuban government’s medical program last year and now lives in Chile.

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