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.

2 comments:

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, http://www.honestmedicine.typepad.com.)

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
http://www.honestmedicine.typepad.com

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.

Rob