Anyone who has ever had a Barbie knows the feeling of running one of those tiny pink brushes through her long, luxurious mane of hair. It's a hallmark of Barbie's fantasy appeal and -- by extension -- a powerful suggestion of beauty.
But what if a little girl doesn't have hair? Is she not just as beautiful?
Mattel is making a lot of people's wishes come true by announcing they will make a bald Barbie for cancer patients. The doll, which will be considered one of Barbie's "friends," will come complete with wigs, hats and scarves for accessorizing.
"Play is vital for children, especially during difficult times. We are pleased to share with our community that next year we will be producing a fashion doll, that will be a friend of Barbie...We will work with our longstanding partner, the Children's Hospital Association, to donate and distribute the dolls exclusively to children's hospitals directly reaching girls who are most affected by hair loss."
Mattel did add, though, that the dolls would not be available in stores:
"Through a thoughtful approach, we made the decision not to sell these dolls at retail stores, but rather get the dolls directly into the hands of children who can most benefit from the unique play experience..."
The announcement probably comes as a happy victory for social media campaigns rallying to get a bald Barbie into circulation. On the " Beautiful and Bald Barbie!" Facebook group, supporters shared their enthusiasm for the project.
"No matter what you beliefs about the 'How' and 'Why' of Mattel's reason for making a Bald Barbie, the production and distribution of a Bald Barbie will serve to break down the societal concept that bald is unsightly and unacceptable," read one comment. "I played with a homemade hairless Barbie as a child more than 40 years ago and came to know bald can be beautiful."
Another comment gets right to the point: "I grew up with no hair and no doll looked like me!! This is a wonderful breakthrough!!"
Are you excited to embrace Mattel's new bald ambition? What do you think about it not being available for purchase? In their statement, Mattel also mentioned they are "interested to hear what you think." What sort of suggestions would you make?