Mattel unveiled 17 new Barbie dolls on Tuesday morning and Frida Kahlo is one of them.
Along with Kahlo, American aviator Amelia Earhart and African-American NASA pioneer Katherine Johnson will also be featured.
Barbie is also honoring 14 “Modern Day Role Models” including Olympic snowboarder Chloe Kim, “Wonder Woman” director Patty Jenkins, Spanish entrepreneur and fashion designer Vicky Martin Berrocal, Chinese actress and philanthropist Xiaotong Guan, Australian wildlife conservationist Bindi Irwin, Turkish windsurfer Çağla Kubat, French World-Renowned Chef Hélène Darroze, boxing champion Nicola Adams, Chinese volleyball champion Hui Ruoqi, German designer and entrepreneur Leyla Piedayesh, Mexican golfer Lorena Ochoa, Polish journalist Martyna Wojciechowska, Italian soccer player Sara Gama, and Chinese prima-ballerina Yuan Tan.
Mara de Anda Romeo – Frida’s great-niece – recently spoke out to say they “did not authorize the use of Frida Kahlo’s image for a Barbie doll.” “We (Mara de Anda and her mother, Mara Romero) found out [about the doll] through social media,” Anda Romero told El Universal.
The Associated Press reported that, Anda Romero wants Mattel to redesign the doll . “I would like the doll to have traits more like Frida’s, not this doll with light-colored eyes,” she said.
Mattel, for its part, says it received the rights through Isolda Pinedo Kahlo, whose name appears on the Frida Kahlo Corporation’s website, more than a decade ago. “Mattel has worked in close partnership with the Frida Kahlo Corporation, the owner of all rights related to the name and identity of Frida Kahlo, on the creation of this doll,” a spokesperson said. “In addition to the Frida Kahlo Corporation being an important part of the doll development process, we have their permission and a legally binding agreement to make a doll in the likeness of the great Frida Kahlo.”
However, a statement from the family to the BBC said that Mara “is the sole owner of the rights of the image of the illustrious Mexican painter Frida Kahlo.”
The toy company will be releasing the dolls in the upcoming months.
Check out the Mattel website for the available dolls.