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Supergirly

Following a Facebook Campaign, Mattel Announces a Bald Barbie Doll For Children’s Hospitals


This picture is just a mock-up made in Photoshop, but after a campaign on Facebook started calling for a bald Barbie doll, Mattel has listened and responded — by promising to make a bald “friend” of Barbie! The new doll will be distributed to children who are in the hospital undergoing treatment for a variety of diseases, some of which may cause hair loss. So many little girls look to Barbie as the epitome of beauty; now the ones who have lost their hair will feel a lot less alone in their fights!

Mattel made the announcement on their own Facebook page, saying the following:

Play is vital for children, especially during difficult times. We are pleased to share with our community that next year we will be producing a fashion doll, that will be a friend of Barbie, which will include wigs, 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. 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.

Proceeds from the new friend will go toward CureSearch for Children’s Cancer and the National Alopecia Areata Foundation. For now, the dolls will only be distributed in children’s hospitals, but other advocates would like to see them more widely available in retail stores. That way, even healthy children can see that baldness is nothing that should be considered unusual in their everyday lives, and there’s no need to treat someone who’s lost their hair any differently. But is there a chance that this initial, limited run could result in Mattel changing their mind? That’s always a possibility.

The Facebook campaign for the doll, called “Bald and Beautiful Barbie,” currently has over 152,000 fans on it, and there could very well be a companion coming for boys — another campaign is calling for a bald G.I. Joe from Hasbro, and that has just under 6,000 fans.

There is always the argument that Barbie is a bad role model — she’s an unrealistic ideal of unattainable beauty, etc. But the fact is, she’s pretty popular. (You should see her Wikipedia page.) For the girls who do love Barbie, but are feeling less than beautiful while fighting an illness, this doll will mean the world to them. Nothing wrong with putting a smile on a little gir’s face!

(Health on Today via Project Ladybug on Twitter)

Previously in Barbie

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  • Anonymous

    Ok I hear the whole, “If sick kids like them, it’s a good thing” thing. But there’s something weird about giving already troubled kids Barbie that doesn’t sit right with me. She might have no hair, but she’s still downright awful. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jill-Peters/747158381 Jill Peters

    She’s beautiful!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=525535616 Bridget Marie Blodgett

    I wish I could get one to give my PhD adviser. She has alopecia and is proud of her lack of hair. I know she’d really enjoy having it.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/YXIXYOH5SVZ6KUFDROBIFGE4O4 Mark

    Just because she’s a fashion doll with weird proportions doesn’t mean she’s “downright awful.” Giving children who lost their hair to cancer a bald Barbie will make them feel normal, so to speak.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ryan-Quavey-Havers/1593505278 Ryan ‘Quavey’ Havers

    Thats a very very sweet idea.

    Good job Mattel.

  • http://twitter.com/FroWillis Sarah

    I never got why Barbie was so bad. I always like that she was more disposable than other dolls so it was fine to cut her hair, take her to the beach, and other possibly destructive things. Her hips and feet also was just struck me as weird. I think the generic Barbies we had that you could pull the heads off of were more influential on my body image than Barbie. Something off putting but delightful to be able to pull a head off and find a tiny faceless sphere.  

  • http://twitter.com/FroWillis Sarah

    Bald Barbie is AWESOME and as an adult I would totally purchase one. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/Gorillazfan Emily Hill

    Well the creators of Bratz are doing Bratz and Moxie girl dolls bald called True Hope dolls do to come out in June at toys r us

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1366170203 Dimitria Parisis

    It’s amazing that Facebook has the power to influence companies but I wonder what it will take to actually have the dolls sold in stores, which is where these corporations really place importance. Redefining Barbie might be a tough sell. 
    http://scallywagandvagabond.com/2012/03/facebook-has-been-heard-mattel-to-produce-barbies-bald-friend/

  • Anonymous

    How do we purchase one?   I think that this was a very smart move!  All people are not purfect, and I am sure so many children look at there barbies and wish they could be as beautiful and slim as a Barbie doll is..In God’s eyes we are all perfect! However, in this world, it is so hard to survive.,   Thank you for opening eyes up, on this original and smart 
    new BARBIE!  We welcome her with open arms!!  Perhaps the next Barbie, could be some what chubby, so young children know the difference between heavier, and thinner..and maybe (with the love of barbies) this can show them.

    vickylake1951@yahoo.com

  • Anonymous

    my mom still has her childhood barbies, and i played with them when i was little.  their heads were also removable, and she had four different ones you could put on the body.  many of my childhood games revolved around barbie and skipper investigating the rash of decapitations plaguing mattel-town…

    i guess i turned out all right, though.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=516069314 Kaitlyn Clark-Bidgood

     Oh man, I am glad that my sister and I weren’t the only ones solving barbie homicides as children. I think that was why my mom took away all of our red nail polish >_> lol

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=516069314 Kaitlyn Clark-Bidgood

    I remember when I was little they released a Barbie in a wheel chair. I don’t understand why it’s even a big deal to have a bald Barbie or GI Joe. It should just be a thing that was done and is in stores already.

    As for Barbie’s proportions, I don’t think that a lot of adults understand how much of themselves a child sees in a doll, not how much of the doll they see in themselves. In a child’s mind a doll can be whatever they want. Most kids don’t even consider the idea that anyone thinks that people should look like Barbie, because they are too busy making Barbie into whatever the hell they want in their own minds. And if their parents do a good job teaching their kids, sons and daughters, the difference between play and reality they can keep enjoying whatever toy they want how they want and not have to worry about adult issues. 

  • http://twitter.com/FroWillis Sarah

    If there was a way I’d share the picture of the Barbie scene my mom walked into one day. My sister and I had painstakingly made paper outfits for each of our Kelly dolls (we had like 8) and arranged them dancing around a plate with a Barbie head on it surrounded by fruit. We were around 8 and 10. 

    Doing weird things with Barbie is a childhood requirement. 

  • scoopsyproductions

    I think this is cool. As a kid, I really liked getting dolls that were different from each other, I didn’t want the same “character” over and over again, if that makes sense.
    And this is a positive character with a positive message.

    When it comes down to it, Barbies are just like any other toy. And you can give them a lot of looks – make clothes, cut hair… draw on their faces…
    As a kid, my sister and I would have Barbies, Bratz (before they got ESPECIALLY inappropriate) along with our stuffed animals, toy animals etc. They would go on adventures, have personalities etc. Now a bald Barbie can go on those adventures to- sending the message to many more kids that yeah, people who are “different”, in this case lacking hair for medical reasons, can be a part of the fun.
    Barbies don’t look like PEOPLE- they always in my opinion looked like cartoons. Photoshop is a million times more harmful than some doll with weird feet.