New Barbie Doll – Bald and Beautiful

This is no joke!  Mattel recently announced it will create a new Barbie that is “beautiful and bald.”  This comes after a Facebook campaign to petition Mattel to create a doll that children can play with that looks more like them or their female relative — bald from cancer or a hair-loss disorder.  The idea is to help with self-esteem.  The dolls are not to be sold in stores but rather donated or otherwise distributed.  Other doll makers also plan to release bald dolls.

This news began immediate differences of opinion on the subject.  The following articles are an example of the debate.  The first one describes the reasoning behind the Facebook campaign, as well as initial details about Mattel’s upcoming doll.

“Mattel to Create ‘Beautiful and Bald Barbie:
It aims to help girls who suffer from hair loss”

On the other hand, this second article takes the absolute opposite stand:

“It’s trendy to have cancer:
Barbie to roll out ‘cancer doll’ with bald head, chemo side effects”

It proposes that this doll normalizes and endorses expectations about dis-health and poor cancer treatments.  Wording includes “bizarre materialization,” “disturbing symbolic implications” and “how cancer is becoming typecasted as commonplace and fashionable.”

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