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Mattel Fashions Barbie Dolls Out of Mexico’s ‘Totem’ Director Lila Aviles, Helen Mirren, Viola Davis, Kyle Minogue

Mexican director Lila Avilés, whose meteoric rise on the international stage, with just two feature films, both of which have represented Mexico at the Oscars, is among eight women storytellers selected by Mattel to be immortalized with Barbie dolls in their likeness.

Avilés joins Academy Award-winning actors Helen Mirren and Viola Davis along with Canadian country-pop artist Shania Twain, Australia’s Kylie Minogue, German comedian Enissa Amani, Japanese model Nicole Fujita and Brazilian Indigenous influencer Maira Gomez who have been selected as Barbie role models in honor of International Women’s Day. Their dolls will be one of a kind and not for sale.

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Said Mattel in a statement: “Since the brand’s inception, Barbie has helped girls explore their limitless potential through different roles and narratives – from encouraging self-expression through dress-up to playing out any of her 250+ careers. With Barbie by their sides, countless children have been able to imagine their own stories through play that help shape their real-life futures.”

“The brand is sharing countless stories of empowerment and bringing her legendary legacy to life through the eyes and words of fans everywhere, starting with some of the most renowned storytellers out there,” it continued.

Given the phenomenal box office and critical success of Greta Gerwig’s multi-Oscar nominated movie, “Barbie,” the company chose the storytelling theme for this year. Last year’s theme was STEM, which covered women in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. That year, Engineer Katya Echazarreta, the first Mexican-born woman in space, was among the few to be chosen for a Barbie doll to be made in her likeness.

Describing her selection as an “incredible, beautiful and surreal surprise,” Avilés expressed her delight at the recognition. “It’s not only me but my career that is being honored,” she told Variety. The figurine portrays her with a camera on her shoulder, a script in one hand and her beloved cat by her feet.

Her latest film, “Totem,” which landed on the long list for the Oscar’s Best International Feature category, has played in more than 100 film festivals and will be rolling out theatrically across 40+ countries, including the U.S. where it’s still out. It’s slated to play on the Criterion Channel and just became available on Netflix Latin America.

“People ask me if my movies are feminist. In as much as my protagonists are women, they are, in an organic way,” she said.  “’The Chambermaid,’ my feature debut, gave voice to a woman who’s ostensibly invisible to many,” she noted. “’Totem’ delves into childhood and the idea that childhood is destiny,” she added, recalling the times when she and her brother played with each other’s toys, including her Barbie dolls.

This doll is hers to keep. Fortunately, her daughter is already in her teens so may not be clamoring to play with it.

Mattel Makes a Lila Aviles Barbie
Mattel Makes a Lila Aviles Barbie

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