The doll, who will be a friend of Barbie, will be donated to hospitals treating children affected by hair loss throughout the U.S. and Canada. The company will also give dolls and monetary donations to CureSearch for Children’s Cancer and the National Alopecia Areata Foundation.
Mattel posted on its wall:
We are pleased to share with our community that next year we will be producing a fashion doll, that will be a friend of Barbie, which will include wigs, hats, scarves and other fashion accessories to provide girls with a traditional fashion play experience. For those girls who choose, the wigs and head coverings can be interchanged or completely removed.
Last December two women who bonded over hair loss started a Facebook campaign encouraging the public to push Mattel to introduce a bald Barbie. Rebecca Sypin’s daughter lost her locks through treatments for leukemia, and Sypin’s friend, Jane Bingham, went bald during her battle with lymphoma.
Over 150,000 people joined the Facebook page for the cause and thousands of messages were written on the page’s wall demanding that Mattel create a hairless Barbie.
Marie Sarcone Gilsenan wrote: “My 11-year-old daughter is battling cancer and I think this doll would be amazing….I am all for it.”
The bald Barbie campaign made national news when Andrew Becker, a director of media relations for the American Cancer Society (ACS), published a blog post on the ACS’s website titled ”Bald Barbie Demand Is an Over-Reach.” Becker wrote that the Bald Barbie movement could “do more harm than good for kids and parents.”
The post was immediately met with ire from Bald Barbie campaign supporters who posted angry messages on the ACS website demanding that Becker be fired, according to ABC News.
Becker didn’t lose his job but he did pull the blog post and replaced it with an apology: “When I set out to write, I wanted to raise questions about activism and social media around disease. I did not mean to imply that I or the American Cancer Society believes that sick children are not important.”
The bald Barbie was one of the most talked about Barbies, and here’s a look at some other dolls that have stirred up controversy over the years (be sure to turn on photo captions).