The Vatican's daily newspaper has called for Mattel to start selling its recently-introduced line of bald Barbies, which were introduced earlier this year following a prolonged Facebook campaign started by the mother of a young girl who underwent chemotherapy. Mattel currently donates the bald doll to hospitals, but Giulia Galeotti, writing for L'Osservatore Romano, the Pope's daily parakeet cage liner, asked the toymaker a very simple question Sunday morning: "Why not sell the bald Barbie?"
Why not indeed, Mattel? Galeotti (who, according to the Guardian is a historian) argues that, while it's awfully nice of Mattel to create a bald Barbie in the first place, merely donating the doll to hospitals doesn't assuage Barbie's history as "one of the most criticised and stigmatised [dolls], and rightly so". Galeotti further explains that Barbie's "perfect and unreal" figure remains a symbol of "plastic beauty and vacuous blondeness," even going as far to suggest that Barbie's "plastic surgery was part of her DNA" from the get-go (even though the whole point of plastic surgery is to, you know, circumvent genetics, but whatever — we feel you, Giulia).
Galeotti wants to see more of the bald Barbies, and expresses just a hint of doubt about their very existence, since neither she nor anyone she knows has ever seen them displayed in toy stores. She urges Mattel to introduce the dolls into mainstream culture, asking, "Why is there no trace in the real world of this lineup of politically and educationally correct dolls?" Why indeed — Galeotti has no doubt detected the first noisome whiffs of toyland conspiracy.
Vatican newspaper makes bald Barbie appeal [Guardian]