frida khalo self portrait
photo: Wikipedia Creative Commons
Iconic Mexican painter Frida Kahlo has gotten the Barbie treatment, thanks to Mattel's launch of a new Inspiring Women line of dolls. To celebrate Women's History Month, Mattel is adding the line to its Shero collection. 

Kahlo joins two other historical giants: Amelia Earhart (first female aviator to fly solo) and Katherine Johnson (NASA mathematician who calculated the first successful flight to space, and who was immortalized in the film "Hidden Figures"). 

It's beautiful that Mattel is honoring these women and putting them in the hands of doll lovers everywhere — but Frida Kahlo fans have a HUGE problem with how the Barbie doll portrays her likeness.

This is the Frida Kahlo Barbie. Do you spot anything missing? 

photo: Mattel

Fans immediately pointed one obvious omission in the Frida Kahlo Barbie design. 

"Where's the unibrow though? Nvm I'll buy the dolls and draw it myself." 

And though Frida Kahlo's unibrow is nearly as famous as she is, fans also pointed out that the Frida Kahlo Barbie dismissed other parts of her image that should have been uplifted.

Frida Kahlo supporters are calling out Mattel for erasing Kahlo's identity by glossing over her true image.

"Mattel has a new line of Barbies, called Role Models. One of them is supposed to be Frida Kahlo, no wheelchair, no accident, operation or polio scars, and no unibrow. #MoreRoleModels @Mattel #DisTheOscars #RepresentationNotErasure."

Here's a little backstory on Frida Kahlo: 

Frida Kahlo lived in pain for much of her life. She was diagnosed with polio at six years old. In 1925, she was in a terrible trolley crash. 

"Her spinal column was broken, her left leg smashed, and her right foot crushed," according to CBS News. "An iron handrail pierced her pelvis, perhaps leading to her inability later in life to carry a child." The accident also left her with lots of scarring. 

In 1953, Kahlo's leg was amputated due to gangrene, and she wore a prosthetic leg until the last year of her life. 

These physical details are left out of the Frida Kahlo doll design, which is surprising since Mattel already announced a new commitment to inclusivity with a line of body-positive dolls in 2016.

This also would have been a moment of redemption for Mattel's twice-failed attempt at making a doll with a wheelchair in 1997 and 2017 (both times, uproar ensued after customers discovered the wheelchair would not fit in the dollhouse.)

Kahlo's poetry, prose, and artwork largely focused on themes of self-acceptance and self-love. This is why fans are scoffing at the Frida Kahlo Barbie. 

"I'm conflicted," a fan wrote online. 

"Yes, I am happy to see a Frida doll, but it is a very unrealistic 'Barbie-fied' version of a woman who was unabashedly unashamed and rightfully unapologetic for her uniqueness." 

They don't think she would have approved of the Barbie. 

"Awful," another wrote. "Looks nothing like her. It's a beautified version of her. She wouldn't have wanted this." 

Fans also hate how thin Frida Kahlo and the other two Barbies are. 

"Did you know the history's fiercest women were all rail-thin?" a man snarked on Twitter.

Imagine how powerful it might have been had the brand produced a Frida Kahlo doll as one of the influential women in the world with her wheelchair, prosthetic leg, and scarring on display.

photo: Giphy

Imagine how inspiring that would be for people who share those experiences but rarely get to see themselves in dolls or mainstream media in general.

Frida Kahlo was perfectly imperfect and that's a huge part of why so many people still connect with her art nearly 64 years after her death. 

It's a shame people won't get to see that celebrated thoroughly in the new Frida Kahlo Barbie.