Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Breast cancer Barbie

Along the lines of "Boobiethon 2006", (where there comes a point where the commercialization of breast cancer goes above & beyond what's appropriate) I give you

Breast Cancer Barbie
"Wearing a pink gown with a signature pink ribbon pinned to her shoulder, Pink Ribbon Barbie® doll can help open a dialogue with those affected by breast cancer, while supporting this worthy cause!"

The dolls cost about $24.95 in retail stores like Target and Wal-Mart, and Mattel plans to donate $100,000 to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

There was an excellent article in Harper's Magazine "Welcome to Cancer Land." written by a breast cancer survivor's reaction on the "Cult of Pink Kitsch" that has cropped up around the business of breast cancer.


Julia Schopick said...

Hi, Dr. Oliver:

I am so glad you referred your site visitors to the "Cancerland" article. It really is a classic, and whenever I read about the "pinking" of Breast Cancer, I tell people about that article. (I also link to it from my site,

Of some interest with regard to the Pink Barbie, Barbie's creator, Ruth Handler (Mattel), was also a breast cancer survivor. And here is some little-known information about her from a very reputable inventors' site:

"After fighting breast cancer and undergoing a mastectomy in 1970 Ruth Handler, one of the creators of the Barbie Doll, surveyed the market for a suitable prosthetic breast. Disappointed in the options available, she set about designing a replacement breast that was more similar to a natural one. In 1975, Handler received a patent for Nearly Me, a prosthesis made of material close in weight and density to natural breasts."

Interesting, no?

Thanks much.
Julia Schopick

Dr. Rob Oliver said...

Thanks Julia!

October (breast CA awareness month) in particular, brings out the excesses of the "pinking" movement. While the sentiment on most of these causes & movements are nobel, it's increasingly a crass marketing device with a paucity of any proceeds going towards breast CA treatment or research. I do applaud Mattel for donating $100K, it's just the commercialism of it rubs me wrong.