LANCASTER, Calif., Jan. 12 (UPI) -- A Facebook campaign is encouraging creation of a bald-headed Barbie doll to offer support to girls in chemotherapy.
The movement, begun by women with daughters undergoing cancer treatment or dealing with other hair-loss conditions such as alopecia, already has received 18,000 "likes" on Facebook.
The Barbie doll, historically a role model for young girls, has long presented careers and aspirations in a favorable light, but has never lacked hair.
"I think having an image of a bald child or bald adult, whether it's Barbie or not, does promote a positive image in the mainstream," Deanna Pledge of Columbia, Mo., a psychologist who works with children, told MSNBC, "and Barbie is clearly in the mainstream."
Beckie Sypin of Lancaster, Calif., one of the mothers leading the effort, said: "I know with a lot of the girls we've met through treatment, the cancer part isn't the part that scares them. It's the fact they're bald. The girls cry over losing their hair."
Barbie manufacturer Mattel Inc. has not commented on the campaign, except to acknowledge the Facebook group with a letter, which did not outline the company's plans.