The news has been replete with concerns voiced about the psychological impact Barbie’s image may have on young girls. For example, a psychology experiment conducted in the U.K. in 2006 determined that those exposed to Barbie doll images produced “lower self-esteem and a greater desire for a thinner body shape than in…other exposed conditions” http://www.divinecaroline.com/life-etc/momhood/negative-effects-barbie-young-girls-long-term-results.
Our youngest son’s godmother, Mary, has another take on Barbie that I—perhaps for personal reasons related to alopecia—fully support. She recently posted: “Mattel should make a Barbie with no hair, so that every little girl fighting cancer feels beautiful. Put her in pink, name her Hope, and send the proceeds to St. Judes.”
I was prepared to join the fight when I discovered a March 29, 2012, news item from ABC:
Mattel, the maker of Barbie, will produce a bald fashion doll for children who have lost their hair because of illness or cancer, the company announced…. “These dolls, which will be a friend of Barbie, will be distributed exclusively to children’s hospitals and other hospitals treating children with cancer throughout the U.S. and Canada, directly reaching girls who are most affected by hair loss” http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2012/03/29/mattel-to-produce-bald-friend-of-barbie/.
So, Mary, looks like half the battle is won.
Anyone interested in starting a campaign to name the bald Barbie “Hope” and have Mattel donate proceeds to St. Judes? I also would support creation of “full-figure” and “petite” (e.g., smaller boobs) Barbie friends and Ken friends with varied physiques. The big question: would young girls want the alternative Barbie and Ken? I’m guessing they would be a hard sell, because I believe Barbie and Ken are the symptom; not the cause.