Will a bald Barbie help kids cope with cancer?

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The side effects of chemotherapy can create anxiety and uncertainty for any patient, but for young children, it can be overwhelming. A group of parents – that now counts thousands of supporters – is hoping that their call for a new bald Barbie will help.

Cori Liptak, PhD, a psychologist in the Pediatric Psychosocial Oncology Program at Dana-Farber/Children’s Hospital Cancer Center, is part of a team that helps young patients manage pain and anxiety through play and behavioral therapy. She shared her thoughts on the subject during a recent interview with NBC.

Tell us what you think. Would a bald Barbie help young children cope with cancer?

Click on the image below to watch the news story from KSN Channel 3 (video will open in a new window).

16 Comments:

  1. I think its a great idea the people who oppose the doll never had a little girl who was sick and bald due to neroplastoma and all she wanted to do was play barbies. because that all she could do i think that it will help the kids that dont have cancer so they wont stare or make fun of someone who is bald and maybe make the whole world realize that bald is beautiful

    • Actually one of the only people who has stood up and asked if we need yet another commercialization of cancer is the mother of a child who died of cancer. Mary Tyler Mom blogs it here: http://www.chicagonow.com/mary-tyler-mom/2012/01/barbie-v-cancer/

    • I’m the parent of a 12 year cancer survivor. This doll would be a wonderful thing for young ladies battling this dreadful disease. I did take one of my daughter’s dolls, shaved the hair off, and called it chemo Barbie. That Barbie went to all chemo sessions, doctor appointments,& hospital visits.

    • Tonya Pendergrass

      I totally agree. As a child I suffered from trichotillomania, and I was bald in the 3rd grade. I loved my barbies, and played with them everyday. I just think that if I had the opportunity to play with the bald and beautiful Barbie that it would have made my life a little easier!!

  2. I’m all for the bald Barbie! I don’t like Barbie dolls and all they represent, but children (including my own daughter) love them. I wish all Barbie dolls had an athletic build and represented strong women and girls rather than have the ant waist and deformed feet. I’d like to see a bald Ken (or GI Joe) as well.

  3. Great idea for kids or women who collect dolls. They can sell it with hats, scarves and wigs.

  4. It is already known that dolls which resemble children with altered body image have great therapeutic value. Barbie, being one of the most well known, world recognized dolls in mass production would have immense value in the coping of affected children; and public perception, stigma can be reduced.

  5. I love this idea! Each time my son Warrior Eli lost his hair through chemo, he had a hard time understanding it. He would put stickers on his head or try to draw on it with markers because he felt like he was missing something there. He didn’t have a bald G.I. Joe or other toys and all of his siblings had hair, but he didn’t. Eli is now a happy, healthy 5-year-old getting ready for his 21 months off-treatment scans on Monday!

  6. Three years ago…I was a little girl…stuck in a big girls body…when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was the poster girl for chemotherapy. Never once complained or said why me…knowing that I was going to have a double mastectomy when chemo was done. I came through both parts like a champ. HOWEVER…the mere thought of losing my hair brought me to my knees. Even as I type this very moment…my eyes fill with tears when I think back to that time in my life. Had there been a…BEAUTIFUL BALD BARBIE DOLL…to travel along the crooked path with me…I truly believe…those days would have been far easier.

  7. I am SO very proud to be a part of this movement. I have some Vintage Barbies from the 1950′s. When Barbie was “Created for a wholesome” point in time. She represented “ALL” a young child could be. Here we are 50 years later and times have indeed changed. We do not need a “Pregnant Barbie or a Tattooed Barbie”. We do not need a “Kim Kardashian Barbie”. Mattel has gotten away from the very idea “why” she was created in the first place. To allow young girls to dream and “identify” with Barbie. So how can a “Bald and Beautiful Barbie” NOT help young children “identify” with a Bald Barbie? Do you really think they want to play or hold a Barbie with long blonde hair??
    Mattel, take a look around you. Barbie is failing and no one cares how much money you donate to a cause. Children surely do not understand that. Create the doll, and allow Barbie to reinvent herself once again, and serve a purpose in a child’s eyes. Other wise Barbie may as well become “Extinct” as a role model *

  8. i think this is a amazeing idea why does this world act like barbie has to be a perfect formed super model all americans are not that make a barbie that is like ppl and i bet they will sell and help the children with understanding that everyone is different and thats ok .

  9. This is a great idea.

  10. With children there’s a great sense of resilency that lends to their ability to cope with horrible and often devistating events that adults would crumble and run away from. The idea that as adults we might be able to offer an opportunity for children stricken with cancer to ‘play’ through their disease with a doll that looks like them…well isn’t that why we have so much diversity in dolls. Unfortunetly it took decades to get this diversity but it eventually happened. Let’s pressure Mattel to be sensitive and considerate of the boys and girls who are already doing their best to fight, maybe we need to pressure Mattel and the other doll companies to help them fight .

  11. She still has perfectly sculpted eyebrows……

  12. and lush long eyelashes…

  13. Is there someone we can campaign to at Mattel to make this doll also available for girls who don’t have cancer or hair loss? I would very much like to get one for my little girl to help her gain some sensitivity and empathy around this issue. This would be a great teaching tool as well.

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