Vatican Newspaper Wonders Why Bald Barbie Isn’t Actually in Any Stores

Illustration for article titled Vatican Newspaper Wonders Why Bald Barbie Isn’t Actually in Any Stores

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?"

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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).

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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]

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DISCUSSION

celia
Celia the Vampire Slaying Vampire

Not thrilled by "vacuous blondeness" at all (let's not make the blonde children feel badly about themselves either), but I remember when the Bald Barbie was first discussed on Jez and a lot of us wanted to see her in stores and as continued donations. Sure, you can cut a Barbie's hair. But a bald Barbie is great for children with alopecia universalis, undergoing other illnesses or treatments that involve hair loss, and just for more diversity.

Plus, they could have fun with accessories commonly used by people impacted by hair loss. Let her be bald and beautiful or add scarves, hair wraps, wigs, etc. It also would be beneficial to show that you can be beautiful with short or no hair regardless of why you have it.

Barbie needs to get more diverse in a lot of ways and this is a really great possibility.