View Full Version : "Cancer Barbie" involving hair loss article

01-13-2012, 05:29 PM

Cancer Barbie: Backers seeking bald doll to help sick kids come to terms with hair loss

Cancer patients pushing for Mattel to manufacture 'Beautiful and Bald Barbie'
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By Nina Mandell AND Nancy Dillon / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Thursday, January 12 2012, 7:02 PM

Bald Barbie from the “Beautiful and Bald Barbie! Let’s see if we can get it made” Facebook fan page.

Below, Barbie with short-cropped, chemo hair.
Photo of a photo composite showing a bald barbie called "Hope Barbie". JT Sherrard claims to have created the photo using an image of the 1998 Holiday Barbie.

Barbie is the ultimate big-haired blonde, but there’s a grassroots movement afoot to make her go bald.

Two women whose lives have been touched by cancer are urging toy giant Mattel to make a Barbie without a ‘do to help kids come to terms with hair loss.

Their Facebook page for the “Beautiful and Bald Barbie” campaign had won about 50,000 fans by Thursday — more “likes” than Mattel’s corporate page.

New Jersey photographer Jane Bingham helped kick it off in December after reading about a 4-year-old Long Island girl who received a one-of-a-kind hairless Barbie from Mattel.

Bingham, 41, lost her own hair while fighting non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma last year and noticed her 9-year-old, Belleliana, had a tough time with it.

“She would imitate me, putting scarves on her head,” said Bingham, who lives in Sewell, N.J. “I’d really love to see this Barbie come with some scarves, maybe a hat and maybe a wig, to make it interactive.”

Bingham joined forces with California resident Beckie Sypin, mother of a 12-year-old girl with leukemia. Her daughter Kin, whose hair fell out, loved the idea.

“She wants to take a bunch of them to the children's hospital where she gets her treatment," Sypin said.

Mattel issued a statement saying it was “honored” by the request and takes all such ideas “seriously” — but did not suggest it would manufacture the doll.

Dr. Abraham Bartell, a child psychiatrist at New York's Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, said special toys for kids with hair-loss are available, but a Barbie would be useful because it’s so iconic.

“It would be easier on parents if they could just go into a toy store and find them,” he said.

But he said a bald Barbie could be a tough sell in stores.

“I think there would be a push back from parents who would have to explain something to their children that makes them feel uncomfortable," he said.

Long Island cancer patient Michele Brodtman, 38, said she told 6-year-old daughter Eryn about the doll idea today and got a hug.

“She was really frightened when I lost my hair in chemotherapy,” the East Islip mom of two said. “She said I didn’t look like a girl.”

Supporters plan to keep up the pressure.

A Change.org petition has more than 1,000 signatures. And a second Facebook page popped up — with 1,000 fans — pushing G.I. Joe to shave his head for the cause.

01-13-2012, 10:00 PM
This is a really interesting article. Although I'm not going to claim that baldness is more of a serious ailment than cancer, I've heard cancer patients claim that losing their hair was the most devastating part of their entire ordeal. This really shows how distressing and devastating baldness is, no matter what the cause of the hair loss is. People who suffer from alopecia areata even get more sympathy than anything else, while people suffering from male pattern baldness get made fun of all the time, like with that George Costanza idiot on Seinfeld. As a matter of fact, I was watching my Full Metal Jacket DVD the other day and they have a line in that movie where the sergeant looks at one of the kids and says "I didn't know they could stack shit that high", referring to the kid. If that line doesn't apply to that George Costanza ****tard, then I don't know what does.
On a serious note though, I think Spencer created his organization and website for the same reasons that I'm echoing: that male pattern baldness is a devastating and distressing disease that should be viewed with sympathy and compassion as opposed to ridicule and jokes.