Frida Kahlo, the Mexican artist, known for her famous portraits and self-portraits, became a symbol of strength and feminism through her depiction of the female form. What we can't forget is the unabashed display of her unibrow and facial hair. Now, what if I tell you that the very thing that made Frida stand out is the one thing that hasn't been depicted in her doll?
As a part of their 'Inspiring Women' line, Mattle unveiled three dolls on the occasion of International Women's day. There was one of aviator Amelia Earhart, one of NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson and one of artist Frida Kahlo. Surprisingly the Kahlo doll, that retails for $29.99, is missing the iconic unibrow and upper lip hair.
This is a prime example of how hard we try to fit into the standards of beauty when we cannot even get the depiction of a real person right because it does not fit into our idea of what is beautiful. The doll also has an extremely slim figure with no trace of childhood polio or injuries she suffered in a bus crash. Even the corset on the doll is nothing like her outfits in reality.
While Mattle does maintain that they have permission and a legally binding agreement to make the doll look like Kahlo, in reality, the doll is nothing like the artist was. No part of her fierce and bold personality is reflected in the doll.
Mara Romeo, Kahlo's great-niece, in an interview said, “I would have liked the doll to have traits more like Frida’s, not this doll with light-coloured eyes. It should be a doll that represents everything my aunt represented, her strength.”
Even Salma Hayek, who was nominated for an Oscar for her portrayal of Kahlo in 2002's Frida, took to Instagram to speak up about the inaccurate portrayal of Frida.
lightened her skin, removed her darkened facial hair, completely deleted her unibrow, no acknowledgement of her disability & need for wheel chair and complete disregard of the fact that she wouldn't have even wanted this made in the first place! hmmm.....