The Beautiful and Bald Barbie is finally becoming a reality. A bustling Facebook campaign urged toymaker Mattel to create a doll that appeals to kids undergoing cancer treatments or suffering diseases such as Alopecia, and after receiving 150,000 “likes” in under four months, Mattel will soon put the bald doll into production.
Mattel spokesperson Alan Hilowitz told CBS News’ HealthPop that the doll will be created as “friend” of Barbie. She’ll come complete with wigs, hats, scarves and other accessories, with the option of going fully bald.
While many of the 152,000-plus fans that the movement has garnered will be clamoring to get their hands on one of the dolls (this writer included), Mattel said that the bald Barbies will not be sold in stores. Instead, the dolls 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 for the “Bald and Beautiful Barbie” 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 be therapeutic, and would help baldness become “normal.”
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After the campaign gained nationwide attention, Mattel invited Sypin and Bingham to their headquarters to discuss their ideas in detail. They were told that a bald doll would go into production at a later date.
Despite the victory in having the doll produced, Bingham told HealthPop that she still hopes to see the Bald and Beautiful 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,” Bingham told HealthPop. “We wanted to change this stigma.”
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