Thanks to a social media campaign sparked on Facebook, Mattel will be releasing a bald Barbie, known as "bald friend of Barbie" to help young girls come to terms with hair loss through cancer. Don't expect these dolls to be sold in stores though, according to Mattel spokesperson Alan Hilowitz: "These dolls, which will be a friend of Barbie, will be distributed exclusively to children's hospitals and other hospitals treating children with cancer throughout the U.S. and Canada, directly reaching girls who are most affected by hair loss." In January, Beckie Spyin and Jane Bingham both created the Bald Barbie Facebook page, which attracted tens of thousands of supporters, after Spyin's own daughter witnessed her mother's long blonde tresses fall out from non-Hodgkin Lymphoma treatment, ultimately leaving her bald. "My daughter had some difficulty accepting me going from a long-haired blonde to a bald woman," explained Spyin, in a blog post.
There's no word as to what the actual doll will look like, aside from being blond. So, it might be safe to say that the dolls will all tout the same generic body and facial features as the original Barbie. Ideally, given that hair loss isn't biased to race, the dolls should also reflect a wide spectrum of color, although this may not be the case. Also, the Barbie's baldness seems to be the focus of the doll, rather than her profession as is typical of the Barbie collection — a problematic thing, considering that women are already considered for their looks first. Still, this is quite a step in the right direction in terms of Mattel diversifying its Barbie family and placing more relatable dolls on store shelves.