An American Icon in Puerto Rico: Barbie, Girlhood, and Colonialism at Play (2022)

Emily. R. Aguiló-Pérez

Book: An American Icon in Puerto Rico: Barbie, Girlhood, and Colonialism at Play

Publisher: Berghahn Books

Since her creation in 1959, Barbie has become an icon of femininity to girls all over the world. In this study, author Emily R. Aguiló-Pérez focuses on a group of multigenerational Puerto Rican women and girls, exploring how playing with Barbie dolls as children has impacted their lives. By documenting the often-complicated relationships girls have with Barbie dolls, Aguiló-Pérez highlights the ways through which women and girls construct their own identities in relation to femininity, body image, race, and nationalism through Barbie play.

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Book Chapters and Encyclopedia Entries

Creating, Collecting, and Curating: Mothers Pass Down Barbie Traditions (2022)

Commodifying Culture: Mattel’s and Disney’s Marketing Approaches to “Latinx” Toys and Media (2021)

Emily R. Aguiló-Pérez

Book: The Marketing of Children’s Toys: Critical Perspectives on Children’s Consumer Culture

Editors: Rebecca Hains and Nancy A. Jennings

The 2010s saw a rise in media and artifacts for children that featured elements from Latinx culture. This trend was not new. In 1988, for instance, Mattel introduced Teresa, Barbie’s new best friend who was mostly read as Latina. Over the decades, it had also introduced dolls from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Peru, Chile, and Brazil as part of the Dolls of the World line. Yet, from 2014 to 2019 movies, toys, and television programming for children increasingly began to feature Latinx characters and culture. This chapter examines these broader trends while paying special attention to Mattel and Disney, two of the biggest producers of toys and media for children, including recent products such as Disney’s Elena of Avalor (2016) and Coco (2017) and Mattel’s Frida Kahlo (2018) and Día de los Muertos (2019) dolls. The chapter highlights how the companies’ early efforts in marketing Latinx culture relied on strategic ambiguity, but eventually engaged in assertive “Latinx” product labeling.

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Tweens (2017)

Emily R. Aguiló-Pérez

Editor: Heather Montgomery

Encyclopedia: Oxford Bibliographies in Childhood Studies.

This article includes sources of scholarship about tweens from various standpoints: girlhood studies, childhood studies, marketing, and education. This variety of scholarship offers wide and in-depth looks at the construction of the tween as its own category that is separate from a child and from a teenager. The article also offers sources such as media produced by children, including tweens, documentaries about the tween, and journals and associations in which the study of tweens is part of the scope. Finally, this article offers a sample of guidebooks for parents, caretakers, and tweens that present advice for getting through the “tweenage” years.

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“I—I’m a little girl”: The New Adult in Film Adaptations of Alice in Wonderland (2016)

Emily R. Aguiló-Pérez

Book: “Tantalizing Alice”: Approaches, Concepts and Case-Studies in Adaptations of a Classic

Editors: Sissy Helff and Nadia Butt

This chapter discusses the character Alice in popular culture and how
perceptions of who she is are reflected in the newer film adaptations. Furthermore, this discussion delves into the problematic issues that arise by turning Alice into an adult. Through the use of culture studies it can be found that these adaptations say more about the times in which they were created and the cultural views of childhood than about what Carroll planned Alice to be.

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Articles and Reviews

Leaving Home: Stories about Immigration, Migration, and the Diaspora

Emily R. Aguiló-Pérez

Journal: Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures (Vol.  11, No. 2, Winter 2019, pp. 297-311)

Current discourses about immigrants and refugees tend to characterize those leaving their homelands as criminals, monsters, and not deserving of being in the place to which they have migrated…The books under review in this essay depict the difficult experiences of migration propelled by various reasons and circumstances.

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Appearing Otherwise: Changing Alice into the Woman of Wonderland

Emily R. Aguiló-Pérez

Journal: The Looking Glass: New Perspectives on Children’s Literature (Vo. 18, No.1, September 2015).

Looking at numerous previous adaptations of Carroll’s books it becomes evident that the character Alice has been changed several times and transformed into different persons, with each one of them reflecting what the person who envisioned her thinks she is. This articles offers a comparison between Alice (2009)directed by Nick Willing and Alice in Wonderland (2010) directed by Tim Burton.

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