GOOD

A Bald Barbie to Comfort Kids with Cancer

After a popular Facebook campaign, Mattel's decided to produce a hairless Barbie doll to distribute to children in hospitals.

Barbie has proven a controversial figure since her shapely beginnings in 1959, but as time and different civil rights movements have marched forward, Barbie’s image has morphed to include various races and cultures. Now, she’s going bald for a good cause.


Mattel, the makers of Barbie, announced last month that a hairless "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." The decision came after a Facebook group called "Beautiful and Bald Barbie! Let’s see if we can get it made" scored thousands of "likes" within hours of its creation.

Beckie Sypin, co-founder of the cause, has a 12-year-old daughter who lost all of her hair after chemotherapy treatment. Syprin told ABC News that "the hope [of the campaign] is that a bald Barbie will help children with cancer and others who have lost their hair due to illness—such as alopecia and trichotillomania—cope with their conditions." Photographer and co-founder Jane Bingham also lost her hair during treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. "One of the major reasons [we started the campaign] was to reduce the stigma for women and children who have hair loss—being not accepted to be able to go out in public without something covering their head, whether it be a wig or a scarf or that sort of thing," Bingham told NPR’s All Things Considered. "Their beauty and their self-worth is not dependent upon their hair."

Mattel had previously made a one-of-a-kind bald doll for a girl going through chemotherapy in New York City. But when Sypin’s campaign suggested they make a bald doll for commercial sale, Mattel initially told her they did not accept ideas from outside sources, Sypin says. A few months later, they changed their minds: Now the limited-edition hairless dolls—which will come with accessories like hats and scarves—will be passed out at hospitals in 2013 and donated to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation. Bingham is lobbying Mattel to sell the doll in stores.

The Facebook page has 158,000 "likes" and shows no signs of slowing down. Offshoots have sprouted from the original campaign, including the "Bald G.I. Joe Movement" for young boys with hair loss. In February, rival toy company MGA Entertainment announced it would produce a hairless line of "Bratz" and "Moxie Girlz" dolls called "True Hope" (see above) for Toys 'R Us. For every doll purchased, MGA will donate $1 to cancer research at City of Hope cancer center in Duarte, Calif. Since childhood toys teach societal norms just as much as media or pop culture, it's important to see companies like MGA and Mattel taking a positive step to show kids in unusual circumstances that they’re normal, too.

\nTop photo via Facebook; Bottom photo courtesy of MGA\n
Articles
Julian Meehan

Young leaders from around the world are gathering at the United Nations Headquarters in New York Saturday to address arguably the most urgent issue of our time. The Youth Climate Summit comes on the heels of an international strike spearheaded by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, who arrived in New York via emissions-free sailboat earlier this month.

Translated from Swedish, "berg" means "mountain," so it may feel fated that a young woman with Viking blood in her veins and summit in her name would be at the helm. But let's go out on a limb and presume Thunberg, in keeping with most activists, would chafe at the notion of pre-ordained "destiny," and rightly so. Destiny is passive — it happens to you. It's also egomaniacal. Change, on the other hand, is active; you have to fight. And it is humble. "We need to get angry and understand what is at stake," Thunberg declared. "And then we need to transform that anger into action."

This new generation of activists' most pernicious enemy is denial. The people in charge — complacent politicians and corporation heads who grossly benefit from maintaining the status quo — are buffered from real-life consequences of climate change. But millions of people don't share that privilege. For them, climate change isn't an abstract concept, but a daily state of emergency, whether it comes in the form of "prolonged drought in sub-Saharan Africa…devastating tropical storms sweeping across Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific…[or] heatwaves and wildfires," as Amnesty International reportsare all too real problems people are facing on a regular basis.

RELATED: Greta Thunberg urges people to turn to nature to combat climate change

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet

Millions of people in over 150 countries across the globe marched for lawmakers and corporations to take action to help stop climate change on Friday, September 20.

The Climate Strikes were organized by children around the world as an extension of the of the "Fridays for Future" campaign. Students have been walking out of classrooms on Fridays to speak out about political inaction surrounding the climate crisis.

"We need to act right now to stop burning fossil fuels and ensure a rapid energy revolution with equity, reparations and climate justice at its heart," organizers say.

There's no doubt the visual images from the marches send a powerful message to those on the ground but especially those watching from around the world. GOOD's own Gabriel Reilich was on the scene for the largest of the Climate Strikes. Here are 18 of the best signs from the Climate Strike march in New York City.

Keep Reading Show less

September 20th marks the beginning of a pivotal push for the future of our planet. The Global Climate Strike will set the stage for the United Nations Climate Action Summit, where more than 60 nations are expected to build upon their commitment to 2015's Paris Agreement for combating climate change.

Millions of people are expected to take part in an estimated 4,000 events across 130 countries.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
via Apple

When the iPhone 11 debuted on September 10, it was met with less enthusiasm than the usual iPhone release. A lot of techies are holding off purchasing the latest gadget until Apple releases a phone with 5G technology.

Major US phone carriers have yet to build out the infrastructure necessary to provide a consistent 5G experience, so Apple didn't feel it necessary to integrate the technology into its latest iPhone.

A dramatic new feature on the iPhone 11 Pro is its three camera lenses. The three lenses give users the the original wide, plus ultrawide and telephoto options.

Keep Reading Show less
Health
via I love butter / Flickr

We often dismiss our dreams as nonsensical dispatches from the mind while we're deep asleep. But recent research proves that our dreams can definitely affect our waking lives.

People often dream about their significant others and studies show it actually affects how we behave towads them the next day.

"A lot of people don't pay attention to their dreams and are unaware of the impact they have on their state of mind," said Dylan Selterman, psychology lecturer at the University of Maryland, says according to The Huffington Post. "Now we have evidence that there is this association."

Keep Reading Show less
Health