To celebrate Mexico’s Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de Muertos), Mattel is releasing a second special-edition Barbie doll. With her traditional calavera (English: skull) face-paint, floral-updo, and skull-and-flowers-patterned lace gown, this gorgeous doll encapsulates the celebrations of this time.
In 2019, Mattel released its first Day of the Dead Barbie doll. The Barbie sold out instantly and grew so popular that Mattel decided to design annual dolls inspired by the festival. Javier Meabe, the designer of the doll, has stated that he wants the Barbie to bring awareness to Mexican cultures and traditions, allowing Mexican children to see themselves and their families in the doll.
The new Barbie wears pink roses and gold marigolds in her hair, with the same flowers embroidered on her skirt. Marigolds are the quintessential Día de Muertos flowers, decorating altars in order to guide spirits back to the land of the living. The doll’s calavera face-paint and elegant dress are also highly symbolic. They are linked to La Catrina – one of the most recognizable images of the Day of the Dead and the image many revelers seek to emulate when getting ready for the celebrations. Although not seen in the second Barbie’s design, the first Day of the Dead doll was also decorated in monarch butterflies, which are believed to be the spirits of the dead.
The exquisite attention to detail is also clear in the overall aesthetic choices. The doll’s pearl accents, braided updo, extravagant lace, and ball-gown silhouette differentiate the second Barbie from the first, capturing the cultural significance and beauty of the Day of the Dead.
El Día de los Muertos is celebrated in Mexico from October 31st to November 2nd. Revelers welcome back the spirits of lost loved ones, honoring the dead and remembering death is just another step in life.