When I first wrote about the push for a Bald Barbie on the market earlier this year, I couldn't believe that anyone could refuse such a worthwhile and important endeavor. To give young girls facing cancer treatments a doll with whom they could identify seemed like something any company would gladly do. Only when Mattel was approached with the idea, the company seemed less than enthusiastic, saying they didn't accept outside ideas. That didn't set well with moms and set off a powerful firestorm and call to action around the globe.
Thanks to that powerful lobbying, Bald Barbie is now in the works. While she won't be sold on store shelves (yet), starting in 2013, she will be distributed to girls facing cancer treatments and other situations in which they experience hair loss. The "friend of Barbie" will come with wigs, hats, scarves, and other accessories to give children "a traditional fashion play experience."
Jane Bingham, co-founder of the Beautiful and Bald Barbie! Let's see if we can get it made Facebook group, told HealthPop, "We thought it would be popular with plenty of people, but we did not expect it to balloon the way it did across the world and throughout the media." But balloon it did, and Mattel responded. In February, she and the other co-founder, Rebecca Sypin -- both of whom have daughters who have faced hair loss due to cancer treatments -- met with Mattel, and it blossomed from there.
On their Facebook page, the company posted an explanation about why they're doing it and how:
Play is vital for children, especially during difficult times ... For those girls who choose, the wigs and head coverings can be interchanged or completely removed. We will work with our longstanding partner, the Children’s Hospital Association, to donate and distribute the dolls exclusively to children’s hospitals directly reaching girls who are most affected by hair loss. A limited number of dolls and monetary donations will also be made to CureSearch for Children’s Cancer and the National Alpecia Areata Foundation.
Way to go, Mattel. While it would be better if anyone could walk into a store and pick one up for a friend or family member, this is a great start; and with the powerful voice of moms, I wouldn't be surprised if we see her on shelves next. Way to go moms!
Are you glad to see Bald Barbie becoming a reality?
Image via Facebook