As a childhood cancer survivor myself, I felt I needed to weigh-in on the hairless Barbie doll that Mattel is releasing later this spring. Even though I had just turned eighteen, I still suffered the total loss of self-esteem when I lost my hair & I would have loved a gift of a Barbie doll by my hospital bed. Toys bring a moment of cheer to even a dreary situation.

That is what Mattel proposes by gifting children in the hospital with dolls by partnering with the Children’s Hospital Association. Mattel is also donating money and a limited number of dolls to CureSearch an umbrella organization that regulates all cancer funding. I actually worked with this organization last year when I lobbied Congress to approve funding for new cancer drugs & research. But that is another story!

If you don’t know the friend of Barbie story, Michelle Spelman does an excellent job sorting it out. Check it out at:

http://www.globaltoynews.com/2012/04/mattel-to-make-bald-fashion-doll-friend-of-barbie.html

I love that it was a grass-roots movement but, as you can see other companies did not think Mattel was moving quick enough. Mattel was also not selling via retail, and other suffer’s are quick to point out that there are many different reasons for hair loss. MGA Entertainment is taking up this cause via retail with their Bratz and Moxie dolls. They are also giving a part of the sales to cancer research.

I love any toy that encourages education as well as imagination and future growth. When you can drive home the point to a child that we need to celebrate our differences as well as our strengths, you change the future thoughts of that child.

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