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New Mexican Barbie's chihuahua and passport stir up controversy

Posted By Kristen Butler, UPI.com   |   April 11, 2013 at 8:00 AM   |   Comments

April 11 (UPI) -- Mexico Barbie hit shelves with a ruffled pink dress, semi-permed hair, passport and pet chihuahua, and many Mexican Americans have spoken out against the stereotype.

While all the dolls in the collection come with a passport, some critics say Mexico Barbie is culturally insensitive, rather than an educational tool that "teaches girls about the culture, traditions and ancestral dress of Mexico," as described by Mattel on its website.

Jason Ruiz, a professor of American studies at Notre Dame University told ABC News he finds common representations of Mexican Americans in pop culture as feisty, lively characters, associations that he says have outlived their time. "[Mexican Americans] are tired of being seen as merely colorful," he said.

Although Ruiz didn't find the passport offensive, he said he understood why some people might have a problem with it. "It is a point of contention and great sensitivity for people of Mexican origin, especially Mexican immigrants," he said. "Papers decide everything for immigrants from Mexico."

Despite the backlash, Mattel stands by the doll.


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