Mattelsaid in a statement that it worked with the Panama-based Frida Kahlo Corp "which owns all the rights", and that the doll strikes a balance to "conserve the essence of Barbie and the legacy of Frida Kahlo".
"I would have liked the doll to have traits more like Frida's, not this doll with light-colored eyes", Mara Romeo, who said she was Kahlo's great-niece, told Agence France-Presse. Kahlo's family and corporation, which possess the rights to her estate and creations, allege the Mexican icon's image was stolen and distorted. "How could they turn her into a Barbie", Hayek wrote with two thumbs down emojis, followed by the same message in Spanish.
A lawyer for Romeo added that Mattel did not have the rights to use Kahlo's image, according to the news agency.
Yes, Mattel, which manufactures Barbie, included a Kahlo doll in an inaugural series meant to coincide with International Women's Day.
Released just ahead of International Women's Day, the "Inspiring Women" collection includes dolls based on Kahlo, aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart, African-American mathematician Katherine Johnson and other historic figures.
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While the critics of the doll make legitimate points, there is something to be said for the celebration of Kahlo's life and the impact such a Barbie can have among today's youth. Beatriz Alvarado, a spokeswoman for the Frida Kahlo Corporation, said by telephone on Friday that the company had been formed by people who secured rights to market Kahlo's name and likeness after paying a fee in 2005 to Isolda Pineda Kahlo, one of the artist's nieces.
But Kahlo's family soon issued a statement objecting to the doll.
Pablo Sangri, a lawyer for Ms de Anda Romeo, said his client is not seeking money but wants Mattel to talk about redesigning the doll. "It should be a doll that represents everything my aunt represented, her strength".
The artist with the famous unibrow was famous for her self-portraits and became a feminist icon.
Critics took to social media about the Kahlo doll, stating that it doesn't exactly reflect Kahlo in image either, expressing that her almost conjoined eyebrows are not accurately portrayed, her figure was not truthful and that the costume worn is not similar in respects to the Tehuana-style dresses the artist wore. "They should contribute something to the world", she said.