A new campaign designed to reduce the stigma for kids who lose their hair to cancer is making waves around the world. The ‘Bald Cartoons’ campaign started in Brazil, where popular Brazilian cartoon characters first went bald for kids.
Now, about 40 characters from around the globe are going bald as part of the campaign, including U.S. characters Garfield, Snoopy, Hello Kitty and Finn from the TV show Adventure Time.
NPR reports the story lines stay the same, but the characters have no hair – or fur – on their heads.
"They're bald with no explanation, just like if a kid with cancer is bald ... you don't have to bother them about the fact the he or she is bald," says Roberto Fernandez, executive creative officer at the ad agency Ogilvy Brazil, which launched the campaign with GRAACC, a childhood cancer nonprofit in Sao Paulo.
"That's how we want to see kids. I want to see kids playing happily, no matter if they have or don't have hair."
One patient said in a video, "I thought that if I took my hat off at school people would laugh, but now I don't feel that anymore."
"And he took off the cap," Fernandez told NPR. "And all these friends clapped for him immediately. And that was a huge emotional moment for us."
Watch a video of children with cancer talking about losing their hair: