This month we celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month. It kicks off on the important date of September 15th, the anniversary of independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. As the largest ethnic community in the United States, representing 60.6 million individuals across the nation, there is a lot to celebrate – and companies are joining in. This month we’ve already seen one company continue their strides for representation in their product line.
Mattel has continuously made headlines for their diverse and empowering Black History Month lines. This month, Mattel is keeping with its commitment by releasing the design of its 2020 Día de Muertos Barbie. After selling out of its first iteration, the company decided to make “Barbie Catrina” an annual release. The doll’s designer, Javier Meabe said his “hope for these dolls is that they’re able to bring more awareness to the Día de Muertos celebration”. Mattel and Meabe brought this awareness to life by integrating traditions, heritage and symbols that are part of Día de Muertos, including the doll’s dress color and hairstyle. Celebrating Hispanic Heritage is a huge part of why Mattel released the doll last year, but representation is another key reason for continuing the Catrina Barbie. Meabe elaborates this by saying, “I also know how important representation is in our community, and I wanted little girls to see themselves through this doll. Barbie has always been a doll that celebrates women and dreams and inspires girls.”
Representation is not only a social imperative; it is a business one as well. Especially when one considers that over half of Americans today say if they don’t see themselves represented in a company’s marketing and communications, they are less likely to want to support that company. Companies that make individuals feel included and seen through their products, services and communications will not only benefit from an increased consumer base, but also create a more vibrant, diverse and innovative approach to business.
On the 19th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks, we remember and honor the fallen families and friends who lost their lives in the senseless acts of violence. We also remember the heroes aboard Flight 93 and the first responders who laid down their lives for others.