Barbie doll goes bald for cancer survivors

2012-04-04 11:03

Washington – The US maker of the famous Barbie franchise is to release a doll next year that is bald in support of children who have cancer and lose their hair in treatment, a Mattel spokesperson has said.

The decision to launch the new doll, which Mattel described as “a friend of Barbie”, was made after a massive Facebook appeal drew more than 157 000 supporters to the cause of urging the doll-maker to consider a version for sick children.

The hairless dolls will come with an assortment of wigs, hats, scarves and head coverings and will be available for donation and distribution in early next year, Mattel said.

They will not appear on store shelves, but will go straight to hospitals treating children with cancer in the US and Canada.

“We have offered small quantities for our Mattel subsidiaries internationally to provide to charity partners in various other countries,” Mattel spokesperson Alan Hilowitz said.

“We made the decision not to sell these dolls at retail stores and profit from them, but rather more directly and immediately get these into the hands of children who can most benefit from a play experience with these dolls.”

Hilowitz said Mattel first posted the news on its Facebook page last Thursday, but made no other official announcement.

An appeal for the doll came from a Facebook group called Beautiful and Bald Barbie, which said it hoped to aid young girls who were struggling with hair loss for medical reasons such as chemotherapy, stress or compulsive disorders.

“We would like to see a Beautiful and Bald Barbie made to help young girls who suffer from hair loss due to cancer treatments, alopecia or trichotillomania,” said its mission statement.

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