10 Barbie Dolls Inspired by Real-Life Iconic Latinas

Lead Photo: Art by Stephany Torres
Art by Stephany Torres
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The upcoming debut of Barbie, directed by Oscar-Nominated director Greta Gerwig, has set the internet ablaze. Aside from the film’s widespread promotion and resounding impact on popular culture (think “Barbiecore”), Barbie herself (the doll that is), has made a name for herself long before our pink-washed social media feeds.

Barbie first made her debut in 1959 and has since skyrocketed in popularity with over 100 dolls sold every minute around the world, according to the toy company, Mattel, Inc. But just as Barbie has captured the hearts of consumers worldwide, her appearance has long been the center of controversy. From representing an unrealistic beauty standard to its former limited skin tone and hair combinations, it may not be a surprise to hear that the new Barbie film can inspire lukewarm nostalgia, particularly for black, brown, and indigenous women around the world. 

America Ferrera, who stars in the new Barbie film, shared this sentiment with Remezcla when it comes to connecting with the Barbie’s that were available. “I didn’t grow up playing with Barbies. We couldn’t afford them and also it didn’t really resonate because I didn’t really see myself in Barbie or in the Barbie world.” 

Nonetheless, Barbie has made strides in representation. 

Today, Barbie is available in 35 skin tones, 97 hairstyles, and 9 body types, according to Mattel, Inc.’s Website. And along the way, there have also been exclusive new dolls made in the likeness of well-known singers, artists, and women in STEM from Shakira to Katya Echazarreta. 

For this list, we’ve selected 10 Barbies inspired by real-life women who are pushing the boundaries when it comes to representation. And yes, that counts for fashion dolls as well.


Celia Cruz

La Guarachera de Cuba’s legacy lives on! Celia Barbie stuns in dazzling jewelry, a red-tulle gown, and of course, a golden microphone as a nod to her long career as a singer.


America Ferrera

“This Latina  Barbie is climbing up the corporate ladder!” The newly launched Barbie, inspired by America Ferrera’s character in the Barbie movie and is in a pink pantsuit in varying shades.


Julia Alvarez

The iconic author’s Barbie is holding a copy of her book, In the Time of Butterflies while also donning a sheer jacket with multi-colored butterflies. We’re here for the literary reference. 



Let’s talk about Shakira’s Rockera era Barbie… and never stop. From the big hair, to the mic, and fitted vest looking top with a bit of flair along the neckline, it’s absolutely something she’d wear.


Katya Echazarreta

This Barbie created in honor of the first Mexican-born woman in space, inspires us to reach for the stars. And now Echazarreta doesn’t have to pretend her Barbie is exploring the galaxy like she did when she was a kid. Because she’s doing it herself.


Gloria Estefan

It’s all in the details! The leopard boots and the matching belt? The dazzling jewelry and bejeweled jacket? This Barbie lives up to Estefan’s inimitable stage presence and talent. 



Laurie Hernandez

The 2X Puerto Rican Gymnast Barbie can also tumble and bend, thanks to the doll’s flexible limbs. And the attention to detail that transfers over to her Barbie’s outfits which are almost exact replicas.


Frida Kahlo

Designed to inspire girls to push past what others tell you is possible is part of Kahlo’s classic Barbie. With flowers in her hair, embroidery on her top, and the vibrant color of her shawl, she is instantly recognizable.


Maya Gabeira

Surfer Maya Gabeira’s Barbie doll is the true Malibu Barbie in who might not be ready to tackle the 73.5 foot wave Gabeira caught back in 2020, but she can inspire girls to dream about trying out their own waves with a Barbie with her surfboard.



Anahí, Maite Perroni and Dulce María from Rebelde

Technically this is a three-for-one option but we had to do it for the fashion. These Barbies immortalize our Y2K obsession with the cult classic television series, Rebelde and their lasting impact to this very day when it comes to their distinct school outfits.

This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, Barbie being covered here wouldn’t exist.