Mattel, creator of the classic Barbie doll, has agreed to manufacture a new hairless version of the doll, oft referred to as Bald Barbie.
She will be considered a “friend of Barbie,” according to this CBS News report. The doll won’t be sold in stores, but will be distributed, free of cost, to hospitals that treat children with cancer, as well as donated to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation.
According to this Time report Mattel would rather see the doll get put “directly into the hands of children who can most benefit from the unique play experience.”
The doll will come with hats, wigs, and scarves for the children, or grownups, to accessorize her with.
The impetus behind the making of a bald Barbie doll came from two friends, Jane Bingham and Rebecca Sypin, whose Campaign for bald Barbie drew media attention and loyal support from the public. Their Facebook Page, Beautiful and Bald Barbie: lets see if we can get her made, has close to 153,000 likes.
Bingham, who reportedly lost her hair as a result of chemotherapy treatments, explains the reasoning behind the idea for a bald Barbie:
“(We want girls to know) they’re not dependent on their hair for their self-worth and their beauty. Women and children, it’s looked down upon that you would go out without your hair. People would automatically assume that you’re sick and you should stay at home in bed,” Bingham says. “We wanted to change this stigma especially for girls because they don’t have many people to look up to,” she adds.