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Social media campaign for a bald Barbie spreads

Nadine Bells
Shine from Yahoo! Canada
January 10, 2012

Maybe it’s time for Barbie to lose those long locks.

Last spring, Mattel created a custom Barbie doll for a 4-year-old girl named Genesis undergoing chemotherapy.

The doll, named Princess Genesis, was bald.

“They made a doll that looks like her that’s bald in a beautiful princess outfit. The box, the packaging is completely ‘Princess Genesis’ and says ’100 percent princess,” it’s beautiful. It’s just amazing — a one-of-a-kind original doll only for her,” Kim Krupa, spokesperson from the Cancer Center for Kids in Mineola, Long Island, told CBS New York.

Now there’s a movement, spread across multiple social-media sites, to see bald Barbies hit store shelves.

"There's so much emphasis, especially on little girls, on their hair and how they (cancer kids) look," Tracey Kidd, mother of a 4-year-old cancer patient, told News.com.au. "It's important for them to feel good, especially in hospital."

[See also: Tattooed Barbie sparks media frenzy]

So far, one Facebook campaign has nearly 7,000 “likes”:

“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 . Also, for young girls who are having trouble coping with their mother's hair loss from chemo,” the Beautiful and Bald Barbie Facebook group posted.

There’s also a “Bald G.I. Joe Movement” on Facebook for the guys.

Some critics are concerned that the push for bald Barbies — even with profits going to pediatric oncology — misses the point.

“Girls with cancer need a bald doll about as much as women with breast cancer need a pink KitchenAid mixer,” Mary Tyler Mom writes on ChicagoNow.

While she doesn’t doubt a bald plaything has its psychosocial benefits, “need” and “want” are two very different things, and that the marketers are the real winners in a bald-doll scheme.

She continues:

“You know what girls with cancer need? They need money. They need lots and lots and oodles and oodles of dollars for the researchers working on their behalf.”

She certainly has a point. But maybe the wants of a sick child and the need for research money don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

Would you buy a bald Barbie for a young cancer patient?

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