Barbie has remained one of the most popular children’s toys for decades. Now, the company behind the famous doll, Mattel, has created a doll for children suffering from alopecia.
The brand has introduced several new dolls over the past decade to ensure they represent a range of body types and images. This latest doll for those suffering from childhood alopecia is said to be a positive step towards normalising the condition. It is one of many new dolls being introduced in 2020. Here, we’ll look at the new range of Barbie’s and the benefits they provide.
What is the new Barbie range?
The new Barbie range includes two new dolls. One has the Vitiligo skin condition, while the other is bald to represent alopecia sufferers. The brand now has the most diverse range of dolls, with over 170 available in a range of sizes, hair colours and skin tones.
Over half of the dolls sold by the brand last year were diverse dolls. In their top 10 bestsellers, one of the dolls which proved popular was one in a wheelchair. So, it highlights how effective they are at helping a more diverse range of children.
The new bald Barbie will be available later this year, alongside a doll with a prosthetic limb.
Destigmatising childhood alopecia
Barbie was once known for its famous blonde, long-legged dolls. However, they didn’t really represent a large portion of children. Introducing more diverse dolls has helped the brand to relate to a much wider audience.
Children can now find a Barbie which accurately represents them. Whether it’s children of colour, those with a slightly larger build, or those with disabilities. These dolls also encourage conversation over disabilities, raising awareness of conditions that can impact children.
Those suffering from alopecia, for example, will relate to the new bald doll. It helps to raise awareness of the condition, while also making children feel more normal in society.
Understanding childhood alopecia
Alopecia areata is a progressive, often extensive type of hair loss and it can impact both children and adults. However, it largely tends to occur during childhood.
For children under the age of five, it doesn’t really impact them psychologically. However, as they grow it can start to cause issues with self-confidence and self-esteem. There is no cure for the condition, although there are treatments available which can lessen the symptoms in some cases.
Seeking emotional support is the most important. The support offered to children with alopecia will differ depending upon their age. How it affects each child will also depend upon the severity of the condition. In severe cases, the entire head of hair can fall out, alongside hair on the rest of the body.
Childhood alopecia areata can be devastating for those affected. However, the introduction of Barbie’s new bald doll later this year is going to help normalise the condition for a lot of children. Seeking the right emotional support, alongside seeing what treatment options are available will also help children better handle the condition.