Why Mexican Barbie Represents Transnational Resistance
By: Keira B.Larrier
The transnational commodity analyzed in this article is the Mattel Barbie. Most places where Barbie has been sold have shown little to no resistance accepting Barbie’s image, however, some cultures surprisingly chose to resist some of her ideal features, such as body type and clothing, in order to portray a more local image, ultimately rejecting the dominant image of Barbie. In the Yucatan region of Mexico, Barbie has been altered in a way that reflects traditional styles of clothing and body appearance, specifically the alteration of her makeup. Local communities have also produced their own images of this doll in Mexico, at a more affordable price, that embodies less Americanized values.
Mexican Barbie in Cultural studies can be looked at through the theoretical lens of Marxist theorist Raymond Williams, who would today most definitely regard this as an emergent culture. Cultures are beginning to resist images imposed on them, instead creating dolls that will enforce traditional values respected within that culture. Barbie offers hope to other cultures, proving that images that promote negative effects in young girls do not have to be reproduced, instead each culture has the choice to create an image of what they deem beautiful and have it dominate the market in a way that is more affordable for locals.