Actress Salma Hayek blasts new Frida Kahlo Barbie doll

Salma Hayek
Hayek has called out Mattel for the Barbie doll. Photo credit: Getty

Actress Salma Hayek has slammed a newly made Frida Kahlo Barbie doll, saying it goes against everything the late Mexican artist stood for.

Kahlo, a famous portrait artist who died in 1954, was one of many notable woman immortalised as a Barbie doll in honour of International Women's Day last week. Hayek, nominated for an Oscar for her portrayal of Kahlo in the 2002 film Frida, posted her disapproval on Instagram. 

"#FridaKahlo never tried to be or look like anyone else. She celebrated her uniqueness. How could they turn her into a Barbie," Hayek wrote, with two thumbs down and the hashtag #bodyimage.

Several descendants of Kahlo are also upset, as they claim they never gave permission for her likeness to be used by Mattel. The Barbie doll features eyes significantly lighter than the dark brown of Kahlo's, and a space in between her signature unibrow.

"Mrs Mara Romeo, great-niece of Frida Kahlo, is the sole owner of the rights of the image of the illustrious Mexican painter Frida Kahlo," the family said in a statement.

But Mattel said the company had the correct permission to produce the likeness.

"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."

Other famous faces in the Barbie 'Inspiring Women' collection include aviator Amelia Earhart and Bindi Irwin.


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