A wholesome smile, paired with a bald head and impressive mustache, Dr. Simi has become an icon in the music industry. The mascot represents a chain of pharmacies across Mexico: Similares, which has become an affordable healthcare destination in its 26 years of business.
The pharmacy was one of the first in Latin America to make cheap, generic medication accessible to the public, as well as provide on-site consultations in isolated areas of Mexico — and Dr. Simi became a household figure people could trust.
In fact, Dr. Simi is the resident greeter who answers calls to the “Simitel” hotline, which provides free access to doctors, nutritionists, and psychologists.
By pressing ‘1,’ callers can reach the mascot’s cheerful voice, which is indeed the voice of dozens of operators who have perfected his nasally voice. They read pre-written jokes from a binder or offer a friendly ear to callers from across the country, according to the LA Times.
And now, he’s meeting all of your favorite celebrities.
Why do fans throw Dr. Simi dolls on stage?
These days, Dr. Simi has been captivating audiences on stage with world-famous acts, like Lady Gaga, Dua Lipa, Harry Styles, Coldplay, and more, as fans throw plush dolls of his likeness on stage to show pride in their Mexican heritage.
“Dr. Simi has always been a figure who protects Mexicans,” Victor González Herrera, the son of the now-retired Similares founder Victor González Torres, told VICE.
“At the end of the day, he’s someone that resolves a problem,” Mexican health system analyst Xavier Tello added.
Whether the doc does a little dance with Harry Styles, parties it up with Camila Cabello in Colombia, or even convinces My Chemical Romance to tour in Mexico, Dr. Simi has become a symbol of pride and joy for Mexican fans of all stripes.
Who makes Dr. Simi dolls?
While Dr. Simi dolls are a great marketing tool for the company, Similares doesn’t make a profit selling the dolls. In fact, a company called CINIA, which designs and manufactures the Dr. Simi dolls is known for employing a team of folks with mental and physical disabilities.
For 17 years now, the company has employed folks with intellectual, motor, hearing, and sensory disabilities, who manufacture each doll by hand.
The trend of throwing dolls on stage has increased the demand for the cute plush mementos, boosting production from 12,000 dolls to 40,000 per month.
This increase continues to provide opportunities for SOLTRA - CINIA team members, who rely on the company for an accessible, inclusive livelihood.
The company employs around 440 people, and with the rise of production for the Dr. Simi dolls, estimates show that CINIA has hired 10% more people over the past year.
“We are giving a bit of our hearts towards the world, we, as people with disabilities,” Mario Arriola, a manufacturer at CINIA, told VICE. “Apart from being a Mexican product, it also represents that as people with some sort of disability, we can do many things.”
A version of this article was originally published in The 2023 Fandom Edition of the Goodnewspaper.
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