Vatican Newspaper Makes the Case for “Bald Barbie”

L’Osservatore Romano, the official newspaper of the Vatican, is asking toy manufacturer Mattel Inc. to consider marketing a “Bald Barbie doll.” 

Barbie—Mattel’s tall, buxom doll that has been a fashion icon since the 1960s—has evolved with the culture. 

Her friend Becky uses a wheelchair, but Becky doesn’t feel sorry for herself; no, au contraire, Becky’s happily productive and serves as the school photographer. 

Last year, I wrote about Tokidoki Barbie, a modern-day tart who sports tattoos and bold pink hair. 

      • And now, there’s Beautiful and Bald Barbie, who’s lost her hair to chemotherapy. 

Beautiful and Bald Barbie is intended for girls who have undergone cancer treatment, and Mattel is donating the doll to cancer wards in hospitals across America.  She is not yet for sale in stores, though; and that’s a problem which L’Osservatore Romano hopes will be resolved soon.  Over the weekend, historian Giulia Galeotti wrote in L’Osservatore Romano, “Why not sell the bald Barbie?”  The historian describes Barbie’s impossibly lanky physique as “plastic and unreal” but believes that a little corporate empathy for children with serious diseases could go a long way toward redressing that wrong. 

The idea of a bald doll for little girls who have lost their hair through chemotherapy or illness was first proposed by the mother of a girl who had undergone cancer treatment.  A group of mothers started a campaign on Facebook—drawing more than 150,000 supporters for their “Beautiful and Bald Barbie” page.  The new, bald Barbie (actually a “friend” of Barbie’s) would come with an assortment of hats, wigs and head scarves to replace her lost tresses. 


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