Relatives win injunction against Mattel’s Frida Kahlo Barbie
Distant relatives of the late Mexican artist Frida Kahlo said Friday they have won a temporary injunction that stops sales of a Frida Barbie doll.
Kahlo’s great-niece Mara de Anda Romeo argues that Mattel doesn’t have the rights to use Kahlo’s image as part of its Inspiring Women series.
According to a copy of the ruling, the toymaker and department stores in Mexico must stop commercializing the doll until the issue is resolved.
Pablo Sangri, a lawyer for de Anda Romeo, said those named in the suit can appeal the ruling.
“This Barbie doll is meant to honor Frida Kahlo’s great legacy and story,” Mattel said in a statement Friday. “We followed the correct steps to secure permission and look forward to the matter being resolved in court.”
Critics say the doll doesn’t reflect Kahlo’s heavy, nearly conjoined eyebrows, and its costume doesn’t accurately portray her elaborate Tehuana-style dresses.
That is, it’s more Barbie-like than Frida-like. Barbie is an American icon that often has been criticized as promoting an unrealistic body image and consumerist lifestyle. Kahlo was a lifelong Communist who died in 1954 before the doll was introduced.