Earlier this year, there was a campaign going on Facebook that was trying to convince Mattel to create a “Bald and Beautiful” Barbie. It would be for children who had cancer, and who lost their hair due to chemotherapy. Now, Mattel has announced that they will make a bald friend of Barbie.
Earlier this year, someone created a Facebook page to request that Mattel, the company that makes Barbie, create a “Bald and Beautiful” Barbie. As I am writing this blog, the page has 151,998 “likes”.
Why do they want to have Mattel make a bald Barbie? The Facebook page explains it this way:
“We would like to see a Beautiful and Bald Barbie made to help young girls who suffer from hair loss due to cancer treatments, Alopecia or Trichotillomania. Also, for young girls who are having trouble coping with their mother’s hair loss from chemo. Many children have some difficulty accepting their mother, sister, aunt, grandparent, or friend going from a long haired to a bald”.
The group would like the Bald and Beautiful Barbie to come with wigs, bandanas, scarves, and hats as accessories. They also would love to see a portion of the proceeds from sale of the bald Barbie to go to childhood cancer research and treatment.
This week, Mattel has announced they will produce a bald fashion doll, who will be a “friend of Barbie”. I think that this means that the doll won’t come in a box that says “Barbie” on it, because it is supposed to be one of Barbie’s friends. From what I have seen, most kids don’t differentiate between dolls that are Barbie, and dolls that are friends of Barbie. They just call all of them “Barbies”.
Mattel says that the bald doll will come with “hats, scarves and other fashion accessories to provide girls with a traditional fashion play experience. For those girls who choose, the wigs and head coverings can be interchanged or completely removed”.
You won’t be able to buy Barbie’s bald and beautiful friend at your local toy store. Mattel is going to exclusively distribute the dolls to children’s hospitals, and other hospitals, that are treating children with cancer. The doll will go to hospitals all across the United States and Canada. In other words, the dolls are being donated by Mattel to hospitals that can put them into the hands of children who have cancer. Mattel is not making a profit off these dolls.
In addition to the hospitals, Mattel is also going to donate some of the bald and beautiful fashion dolls to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation. This is another group that can put the dolls into the hands of kids who have lost their hair.
Image by Pimkie on Flickr