Frida Kahlo’s family thinks the Frida Barbie doll is not a good representation of her and claims Mattel actually stole the artist’s image.
Kahlo’s great niece, Mara Romero, stated, “I would have liked a doll that actually represents my aunt’s features, like the unibrow, the dark eyes, darker skin, and also wearing the beautiful, regional clothes that she wore, made by Mexican artisans, and the Oaxacan earrings… a fitting Frida.”
On International Women’s Day, the Barbie maker, Mattel, launched a series of dolls based on iconic women, but the Frida doll is getting a lot of criticism for leaving out the traits that made Kahlo unique. Kahlo’s family says Mattel has no right to make a Frida doll and has written to Mattel threatening to sue. Kahlo’s grand-niece claims all the rights to the artist’s image but Mattel says it worked with the Frida Kahlo Corporation — an American company, which also claims rights to Frida’s image.
A Mattel spokesperson stated, “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, the Kahlo family and their lawyer say the corporation only had rights to Frida’s name but never had the rights to her image, and are disputing Mattel’s claims.