After a Facebook campaign which received 150,000 “likes” in less than four months, the Beautiful and Bald Barbie is finally becoming a reality. In an example of Facebook being used for good instead of teen drama, supporters urged Barbie toymaker, Mattel, to create a doll that for kids undergoing cancer treatments or suffering diseases such as Alopecia.
Mattel spokesperson Alan Hilowitz said that the doll will be created as “friend” of Barbie. She’ll have wigs, hats, scarves and other accessories, with the option of going fully bald.
Though many people would love to buy this Barbie, which will soon be in production, Mattel said that the bald Barbies will not be sold in stores, but will be donated to children’s hospitals, as well as the National Alopecia Areata Foundation.
The company explained this decision via a statement on their Facebook page: “Through a thoughtful approach, we made the decision not to sell these dolls at retail stores, but rather get the dolls directly into the hands of children who can most benefit from the unique play experience.”
The campaign was started in January by Jane Bingham and Rebecca Sypin, both of whom have daughters who lost their hair due to cancer treatment. Sypin told MSNBC in January that she thought the bald Barbie would help baldness become “normal.”
Bingham told HealthPop that she still hopes to see the Beautiful and Bald Barbie on stores shelves one day. “[We want girls to know] they’re not dependent on their hair for their self-worth and their beauty. Women and children, it’s looked down upon that you would go out without your hair. People would automatically assume that you’re sick and you should stay at home in bed. We wanted to change this stigma.”
This article is dedicated to my niece who has battled breast cancer for eleven years and is now being considered for hospice care, and for my friend at church who is presently undergoing chemotherapy with a brave, positive attitude. She wears her beautiful scarves and hats while she plays trumpet in the Praise Band, and last Sunday she gave me an interview so that I could use her experience in my next book. She has six children, three boys and three girls, and she loved this idea of a Beautiful and Bald Barbie. It’s too bad that they are not for sale; she wanted to buy one for her daughters.