Early Disease Detection

Barbie’s Bald Friend Coming Soon!

Mattel has responded to a Facebook campaign that has gone viral, urging the company to release a doll that would cater to children who are undergoing cancer treatments, or are suffering from Alopecia.

It seems that Mattel has heeded the call and will soon be producing the doll. This one, however, will not be sporting that lovely mane that Barbie has been known for all these years.

According to Alan Hilowitz, spokesperson for Mattel, the doll will be created as a “friend” of Barbie, and will come with accessories that a child suffering from baldness due to certain health conditions are probably very familiar with: wigs, hats, and scarves, among other accessories. It will also have the option of going completely bald.

The “Bald and Beautiful Barbie” was the brainchild of Jane Bingham and Rebecca Sypin, who began a Facebook campaign in January. Sypin had shared that they believed that a bald Barbie will be therapeutic to children who have become bald. The campaign received 150,000 “Likes” in four months.

Barbie’s bald friend, however, will not be gracing store shelves. Mattel has decided not to sell them. All the dolls that will be produced will be donated to children’s hospitals, as well as the National Alopecia Areata Foundation.

Mattel also took to Facebook to explain why: “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.”

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