New Jersey resident Jane Bingham, along with her friend Rebecca Sypin, launched the Beautiful and Bald Barbie Facebook page last December to encourage Mattel to make a new Barbie without hair for children dealing with hair loss.
According to Mattel, the bald doll will not be Barbie herself, but rather a friend of Barbie’s. This special doll is expected to be released in 2013. The new doll will have wigs, hats and scarves to accessorize. But don’t expect the company to sell the doll. According to Mattel spokesman Alan Hilowitz, the new doll will be distributed in the U.S. and Canada through the Children’s Hospital Association and CureSearch for Children’s Cancer to children’s hospitals and other medical facilities that treat children with cancer, as well as by the National Alopecia Areata Foundation for children who face other causes of hair loss.
Though Bingham is somewhat pleased, she’s not completely satisfied, seeing Mattel’s decision as a partial victory. “We’re happy. We don’t want to complain because it’s a big thing that they’ve agreed to do this,” said Bingham. “The only disappointment is that people who are not sick enough to be in the hospital won’t get them, people like my daughter. I lost my hair to cancer, and I would have loved for her to have one of these dolls. So it’s disappointing that it’s not available for sale.”
Some of Barbie’s competitors decided to step up and create a line of bald dolls for cancer patients and their friends and relatives, thanks in part to Bingham and Sypin’s Facebook page. In February, MGA Entertainment, makers of the makers of the Moxie Girlz and Bratz dolls, announced three hairless “True Hope” dolls will launch in June at Toys “R” Us stores. MGA also will donate $1 from every doll sold to City of Hope for cancer research.