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Bald Barbie: Facebook Group Tries To Remove Stigma Of Baldness For Sick Kids
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Bald Barbie: Facebook Group Tries to Remove Stigma Of Baldness for Sick Kids

A Facebook group has spurred a major movement to get Mattel Inc. to put out a bald Barbie doll to help the thousands of little girls who have lost their hair for a number of reasons. The group, started by a group of mothers led by Jane Bingham, has said that in the three weeks since the Facebook page has been up, there have been over 40,000 people voicing their support. Over eighty thousand "likes" have been recorded on that page with over four thousand discussions also recorded. The movement even has a theme song now, courtesy of eleven year old singer/songwriter Miranda Finn and her writing partner, her mother. Finn's song and YouTube video are now being linked to the ongoing effort of the group.

Deanna Pledge is a psychologist who often works with little children in the Colombia, Missouri area. According to her and others in the field, such a doll, whether it is actually Barbie or not, would be helpful to little girls or boys who have lost their hair, not only from cancer but from other conditions as well. Pediatric cancers affect over ten thousand children under the age of fifteen every year, a slight increase in the rate over the last few years. The most common cancers are leukemia, accounting for more than one third of diagnoses.

But bald Barbie or a similar doll could help other children that have lost their hair for other causes, including alopecia and trichotillomania. The latter is a condition marked by repeated urges to break off or pull out the hair, not only from the scalp but in other locations as well. Some patients even pull out their own eyelids.

Letters have been sent to Barbie's maker, Mattel Inc. to suggest the bald Barbie or to ask when they might be able to buy one. So far, there has been no real response from the toy giant beyond a form letter saying that Mattel does not accept "outside ideas" for any of their toy lines and that there are already products in development for the coming year. No further details about what those particular ideas might be, however.

The Facebook page continues to gain more and more support, with the members hoping that if Mattel won't allow Barbie herself to appear bald that she will have a new friend who is. The group acknowledges that it might be another doll maker who creates a bald doll in support of the children who would adore her.


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