After a campaign by Jane Bingham, a survivor of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in Philadelphia, Mattel has decided to make a bald Barbie doll.
Jane’s Facebook group, “Beautiful and Bald Barbie” was created to promote the idea of a doll for children with cancer who are experiencing medically inspired hair loss.
“One of the major reasons was to reduce the stigma for women and children who have hair loss — being not accepted to be able to go out in public without something covering their head, whether it be a wig or a scarf or that sort of thing,” Bingham says. “Their beauty and their self-worth is not dependent upon their hair.”
Bingham and her group are most interested in Barbie because she is seen as an icon of beauty. As such, they believe that seeing her bald could help reduce the stigma attached to hair loss.
As a result of the Facebook campaign, Mattel has agreed to make bald Barbies to donate to children of cancer wards and hospitals who are experiencing hair loss. According to the company, they’ve decided not to sell the dolls “at retail stores, but rather get the dolls directly into the hands of children who can most benefit from the unique play experience.”
While pleased with Mattel’s decision, Bingham is still fighting to get the dolls sold in stores as she believes that the general public could benefit from these dolls.
While Mattel has yet to agree to sell the bald dolls in stores, MGA Entertainment, another toymaker, has. They’ve said they will debut versions, this summer, of bald Bratz and Moxie Girlz dolls.
What do you think of Mattel and MGA Entertainment’s plans for bald dolls? Do you think having the dolls can help to reduce the stigma associated with hair loss?