Salma Hayek is not impressed with the new Frida Kahlo Barbie doll

Barbie may struggle with math. But Mattel has had bigger problems with its line of dolls

Released just ahead of International Women's Day, the "Inspiring Women" collection includes dolls based on Kahlo, pioneer aviatrix Amelia Earhart and other historic figures.

Mattel said in a statement provided to INSIDER that they obtained the rights through the Frida Kahlo Corporation.

Featuring renowned figures such as Chloe Kim, Patty Jenkins and Frida Kahlo, the company aims to show girls that they can be anything.

A Frida Kahlo Barbie doll on display in Mexico City.

This is not the first time that the commercial activities of the Frida Kahlo Corporation are said to have angered some of Kahlo's descendants.

But Kahlo's family soon issued a statement objecting to the doll.

Mattel, however, is saying that they're in the clear, and have been working with the Panama-based Frida Kahlo Corp, whose website claims it has "the support of the Kahlo family" and "is dedicated to educating, sharing, and preserving Frida Kahlo's art, image, and legacy". Kahlo's great-niece Mara de Anda Romeo said, "You don't turn a doll into Frida Kahlo by putting flowers in its hair and giving it a colorful dress", in an interview with Telegraph.

However, Romeo's lawyer, Pablo Sangri, told AFP News Agency that the corporation "doesn't hold, never held and will never hold the rights to Frida's image".

Kahlo was known for her assertive embrace of her Mexican identity and her unabashed, unmanicured femininity.

Many on social media criticised the doll and complained it's more Barbie-like than Frida Kahlo-like. "I would have liked her to have a unibrow, for her clothes to be made by Mexican artisans", she told AFP. "How could they turn her into a Barbie", Hayek wrote with two thumbs down emojis, followed by the same message in Spanish.

Matter vice-president Michelle Chidoni avoided insists that "these dolls are depictions of awesome women who did fantastic things in their time and represent real-life examples and stories for girls to be inspired by", she said.

In recent years, Kahlo's image has been stamped onto an explosion of consumer products: nail polish, bags, shoes, coffee mugs and much, much more.

Kahlo (1907-1954), the wife of the Mexican muralist Diego Rivera, is considered one of the great painters of the 20th century for her searingly intimate portraits, often dealing with her own pain and isolation.



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