A Facebook campaign to create a bald Barbie has drawn support from thousands. (WRDW-TV / March 2, 2012)
News 12 at This Morning / Friday, March 2, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Barbie is an icon who has boasted a variety of roles.
Now some want her to take on a different role and are calling on Mattel to create a bald Barbie doll.
Every girl has her favorite.
"I definitely liked the Mermaid Barbie," said Abby Sandifer.
Sandifer, now in high school, grew up around Barbie. In fact, she still finds time to for the dolls when her little sister is around. The long hair is a feature that attracts thousands of young girls to play with the doll, but Sandifer knows not every young girl can always live up to that image.
"Today, I'm here to get chemotherapy," she said.
Sandifer has a benign tumor on her optic nerve that affects her vision. The chemo she's receiving worries her at times.
"A girl really doesn't want that to happen," Sandifer explained. "My hair has thinned a little on top."
It's stories like hers that started the bald Barbie movement on Facebook. Nearly at 150,000 likes and the page keeps growing with supporters by the hour.
"I think that's great, lots of people are getting involved in something that could potentially help little kids who are going through this and feel better about themselves," Sandifer said.
At Georgia Health Sciences Children's Medical Center where Sandifer gets her chemo, toys can mean the difference between a good or bad day.
"The younger kids, it might really help with their self-esteem saying, 'Hey, Barbie doesn't have hair and she's awesome,'" Sandifer added.
Sandifer says she thinks it could also isolate some young girls.
"I'm worried maybe it would make the kids that are dealing with it feel like they are in their own box, that they are not like other children," she explained.
But for many on the group's Facebook page, the bald Barbie would bring understanding and boost self-esteem.
"Definitely make it how it's not a shocker where you go 'Whoa' what's wrong with them?" she said.
Making a statement that bald can be beautiful. News 12 reached out to Mattel. The company says they reached out to the founders of the bald Barbie movement. They had their first meeting to learn more about their stories and plan on holding more meetings to see how this idea could be used positively to impact young girls.
You can find the Facebook page here.