Companies around the world continue to get involved and show their support for cancer awareness and cancer survivors. With a staggering number of cancer diagnoses every year, the continued support of these organizations is crucial in helping find a cure.
Most recently, thanks to the work of two women, the world’s largest toy company, Mattel, has shown its support to children fighting cancer with the introduction of a bald fashion Barbie doll.
According to an article by ABC News, a Mattel Company spokesman stated the dolls will be a “friend of Barbie” and will be distributed exclusively to hospitals treating children with cancer throughout the U.S. and Canada.
The release of this doll, which Mattel has yet to officially name, is yet another example of the power of social media. Beckie Sypin and Jane Bingham, co-founders of the “bald doll cause,” launched a Facebook page, “Beautiful and Bald Barbie! Let’s see if we can get it made,” in an effort to urge Mattel to produce a bald version of Barbie to help children with cancer, and others who have lost their hair due to illness, cope with their conditions. The Facebook movement worked, Mattel listened and currently, the page has more than 158,000 “likes.”
According to the article, the bald doll will include “hats, scarves and other fashion accessories to provide girls with a traditional fashion play experience.” The dolls will also have wigs and head coverings that can be interchanged or removed.
Currently, Mattel has made the decision to not sell the dolls in store, focusing their efforts on getting the dolls in the hands of children “who can most benefit from a play experience with the dolls.”
Bingham, who lost her hair while undergoing cancer treatment, said her daughter had a difficult time accepting her as a “bald woman.” She believes a bald Barbie could be a great way for young girls to cope with the hair loss of a loved one. However, with the current donation guidelines for this exclusive doll, young girls, like Bingham’s, would not qualify for a doll. Additionally, both she and Sypin argue that thousands of dollars could be raised to help fight cancer if the dolls were sold in store and a portion of the proceeds went to cancer research.
Currently, nearly 1,000 people have signed the petition.
Will Mattel, once again, listen to the demands of the public and social media? Only time will tell.
Has a nonprofit near to your heart benefitted from social media? How?