A Facebook movement to urge Mattel to produce a bald version of its famously blonde Barbie doll generated more than 10,000 “likes” in just a couple of hours, according to one of the administrators of the “Bald and Beautiful Barbie” page.
Beckie Sypin, a co-founder of the cause, told ABCNews.com that the hope is that a bald Barbie will help children with cancer and others who have lost their hair due to illness — such as alopecia and trichotillomania — cope with their conditions.
“We hope it gets the message out that being bald is beautiful and is no big deal. There’s no need to cover up,” she said.
Sypin’s own daughter is one of those children. The 12-year-old, named Kin Inich, lost her hair after chemotherapy.
Even though her daughter isn’t a huge Barbie fan, Sypin said she is excited about the idea.
“She said if they make one, she would totally get it,” Sypin said. “The first thing she said was if they make that doll, she would buy a bunch and take them to a children’s hospital and give them to children with cancer.”
Jane Bingham, Sypin’s friend and co-founder of the Facebook page, lost her hair while undergoing treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
“My daughter had some difficulty accepting me going from a long-haired blonde to a bald woman,” she wrote in a blog. A bald Barbie, she added, could be a great way for young girls to cope with hair loss that happens to them or to a loved one.
Nearly 60,000 people are fans of the page, created just three weeks ago, and that number is still climbing. Many commenters shared their support for the bald Barbie.
“I can only imagine what young children feel when they lose their hair,” wrote a cancer patient. “Let’s make this happen and teach them young that hair doesn’t make someone beautiful, it’s whats inside that truly matters!”
Sypin said the hope is that if the doll is made, proceeds from sales would go to a children’s cancer group.
The women also started a “Bald G.I. Joe Movement” Facebook page to help young boys dealing with baldness.
Hasbro, the company that makes G.I. Joe, told ABC News in a statement that it supports the movement “and the attention it is bringing to very worthwhile causes, including cancer research.”
Hasbro also said there will be two new action figures in this year’s product line that are bald, and while they weren’t designed to draw attention to childhood cancers, the company hopes the figures will provide comfort to children suffering from hair loss.
In an email to ABC News, Mattel didn’t say whether it would produce the bald Barbie or not, but expressed appreciation that Sypin and Bingham wanted Barbie to be the face of their campaign.
The company also said it receives hundreds of requests for different Barbies and are always exploring new options.
Both Hasbro and Mattel also stressed they regularly support numerous children’s charities.
Supporters of the bald Barbie also took to Mattel’s Facebook page, asking the company to mass produce the doll. Last year, Mattel made a one-of-a-kind bald Barbie for a 4-year-old cancer patient in New York, according to WCBS.
Sypin said the response she got from Mattel was a letter informing her the company does not accept ideas from outside sources.
But that rejection hasn’t stopped the movement’s momentum.
“We hope either Mattel does look at it and says okay, or that another company will pick up on the idea,” she said.