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Barbie mania sweeps Latin America, however generally takes on a darker tone

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MEXICO CITY — Latin America is taking Barbie mania to an excessive, with every little thing from pink-colored tacos and pastries, business planes bearing the Barbie emblem, political advertisements and even Barbie-themed protests.

However it’s not all excessive heels and pom-poms: Barbie mania within the area has taken on a darker, macabre tone.

In Peru, anti-government demonstrators this week dressed up two girls in pink and put them in large Barbie packing containers in the primary sq. of Lima, the capital, to protest present President Dina Boluarte, underneath whose administration police have typically clashed with protesters.

One actress, whose field was labeled “Barbie Dictator,” held a pink gun. The doll, in keeping with the field legend, “contains tear gasoline and dum-dum bullets.” One other protester’s field was labeled “Genocidal Barbie.”

In the meantime, shops, road distributors and eating places all through Latin America are providing up all types of Barbie-themed goodies.

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In Mexico, there are Barbie tortillas (the corn dough is coloured pink with beet juice, with some imprinted with an edible-dye pony-tailed Barbie silhouette); Barbie pastries and Barbie tacos (marinated pork meat served in pink tortillas and accompanied by a strawberry milkshake).

A complete Barbie-themed restaurant opened this week in Guayaquil, Ecuador; it’s — in fact — constructed to resemble Barbie’s home.

Volaris, a Mexican airline, has painted certainly one of its jets with a Barbie emblem and, in keeping with a promotional video, the airplane shall be piloted by Barbie, not Ken.

The pink craze within the area is such that Barbie mania has now unfold into politics.

In Guatemala, presidential candidate Sandra Torres shared a musical TikTok video pitching her as a Barbie who “desires prosperity for all.”

Mexican road sellers are peddling a Barbie doll modeled on presidential hopeful Claudia Sheinbaum, a real-life scientist-turned-politician whose personal (actual) ponytail has develop into her branding trademark.

The workplace of Colombian President Gustavo Petro just lately raised hackles with a Barbie-theme video — together with clips from the movie’s trailer — to advertise an independence day tour of the nation. His workplace rapidly eliminated the poorly made video.

Past the horse tails and enjoyable food, there’s a darker undercurrent.

In Mexico, a Barbie homage doll sparked controversy when a sister of certainly one of Mexico’s 111,000 lacking folks started stitching Barbie outfits to costume the doll as a “Looking out Mom” — a member of a bunch of volunteers who fan out throughout Mexico’s dusty plains to seek for gravesites which may include their youngsters’s stays. Many of the lacking seem to have been kidnapped — and killed — by drug cartels or kidnapping gangs.

This Barbie is clad in a wide-brimmed hat and a solar hood, wears a T-shirt bearing the photograph of a lacking man and camouflage pants and comes geared up with a shovel. Her creator, volunteer searcher Delia Quiroa, hopes to publicize the plight of moms who’ve to hold out the searches and investigations police received’t do, and on the similar time increase cash to proceed looking.

One group of volunteer searchers within the western state of Jalisco — the state with the very best variety of lacking folks — questioned whehter casting Barbie because the sufferer of a horrible crime is suitable.

Barbie “has developed right into a illustration of robust, impartial girls who can do what they need and chase their desires,” the volunteer search group Mild of Hope wrote in a press release. ”No one who’s looking for a lacking baby, partner or a sibling is doing what they need to do, a lot much less chasing a dream.”

“It appears to us an abomination that women see being a Looking out Mom as one thing regular,” the group added.

Quiroa, from the northern border state of Tamaulipas, stated her creation is sort of an anti-Barbie.

“Barbie is every little thing an individual desires to be, however it is a Barbie who would not need to be,” she stated. “She is what no one desires to be. No one desires to be a searcher, no one desires to be on the lookout for a member of the family.”

Quiroa has been on the lookout for her brother Roberto since he was kidnapped by drug cartel gunmen in March 2014. Regardless of finishing up its personal searches and pressuring authorities to analyze, the household is aware of nothing about his whereabouts.

“I consider this as a doll extra directed to girls, to us, not for women to play with,” Quiroa stated.

Vanessa Munguía, extensively considered Latin America’s main Barbie collector — she numbers her assortment within the 1000’s — says Barbie is especially widespread in Latin America as a result of, till a few many years in the past, most ladies’ toys right here depicted maternal, home-maker roles.

“Barbie was the one toy I discovered that informed me that there have been 1,000,000 different potentialities. I could possibly be an astronaut, I could possibly be a trainer,” stated Munguía, who grew to become lawyer.

Requested about depicting Barbie as a “Looking out Mom” or any of the opposite incarnations of the doll, Munguía says she finds it a really legitimate expression.

“I believe that’s precisely what what we like in Barbie, that we are able to make her out to be no matter we want her to be at that second,” she stated.

___ Related Press author Franklin Briceño in Lima, Peru, contributed to this report from Lima, Peru

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