Inspired by a one-of-a-kind Barbie doll created for a four-year-old cancer sufferer, campaigners are calling for a 'Beautiful and Bald Barbie' to be produced on a commercial scale.
Campaign founders Jane Bingham and Beckie Sypin are hoping to put pressure on toy maker Mattel to create a range of bald Barbies to help raise awareness and acceptance of hair-loss.
A Facebook group, ‘Beautiful and Bald Barbie! Let’s see if we can get it made’ has caught the attention of cancer sufferers and supporters alike and has already gained over 37,000 '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,” Bingham and Sypin state on their campaign page.
“Many children have some difficulty accepting their mother, sister, aunt, grandparent or friend going from a long haired to a bald.”
The social campaign is also lobbying for the doll to have a range of headscarves and hair-loss related accessories.
“Accessories such as scarves and hats could be included. This would be a great coping mechanism for young girls dealing with hair loss themselves or a loved one. We would love to see a portion of proceeds go to childhood cancer research and treatment. Let's get Mattel's attention.”
A petition for the doll has started on Change.org and has so far gained 1,302 signatures.
Bingham and Sypin spoke to The Huffington Post about the attention their campaign was receiving.
“We would just like to say we are very happy with all the media attention and positive feedback we have received and we hope it gets Mattel's attention so this can become a reality.”
The campaign has support from the UK’s leading cancer charity, Cancer Research UK. Head information nurse Martin Ledwick told The Huffington Post: “Children and young people have so much to deal with when they are going through cancer treatment. So anything that helps them to feel more normal, or that can be used as a tool to help them express how they are feeling has to be a good thing.”
Mattel has not made a public statement about the campaign but a member of the UK press office said they were "aware of the campaign”.