Ken Doll Gets A Makeover
Last year, Barbie unveiled a new line of diverse dolls, with three different body types, seven skin tones, and 22 eye colors. (Check it out, girls! Now you can be a hot astronaut with brown eyes!) Seriously, though, we do applaud their efforts. But we are extra, quadruply excited about this week’s launch of new Ken dolls because oh my God, they gave one a man bun. Strap in, friends.
Mattel is trying to capitalize on the success of their new Barbies with a set of Kens that reflect the diversity found in every group of twenty-somethings drinking Moscow Mules out of copper mugs while whittling spoons out a piece of salvaged wood from an old farmhouse in upstate New York. In other words, they look like every stereotype old farts like us have about millennials. Sorry, kids.
The new Ken dolls are diverse not just in style, but in body type as well — they now come in slim, broad, original, and extra-crispy. (That last one may be a lie.) The “broad” dolls, which many say resemble “dad bods,” have slightly thicker limbs and a thicker waist. They don’t have six-pack abs, but they do have pecs and some muscle definition. So, a “broad Ken” is what happens when a guy with a dad bod hits the gym and loses thirty pounds. Still, just as we appreciate the inclusion of “curvy” Barbies, we do give Mattel a hat tip for a “broad” Ken.
We also love that the new Kens have skin tones and hairstyles that reflect a wider swath of our society than just the blond-haired, blue-eyed Wall Street trader who works for his dad and is definitely stealing your money. It’s especially nice for Barbie to have more options because up till now it’s been slim pickings — in an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Jim Silver, chief executive and editor in chief of TTPM.com, a toy-review website, said: “The play pattern is that for every six to eight Barbies [a child] has, they generally have one Ken.”
“I like those odds,” said Mattel’s new Gross Creepy Ken.
But the most troubling addition to the Ken universe is the doll we have named Ezra (because look at him), who sports a man bun. The sun is rapidly setting on the popularity of the man bun, but poor Ezra will be sporting it forever. Yes, there is a Ken with glasses, a Ken with corn rows, and a Ken who looks suspiciously like Justin Bieber, but Ezra is the one who is going to be on the clearance rack in no time flat. Even six-year-olds are going to say, “A man bun? That was so the first half of 2016.”
Despite all our snark, we do applaud Mattel for breaking outside their one very white, very date-rapey surfer dude box and going for something new. Representation matters, and we are here for it. But we do wish they’d called us about Ezra before he went into production. That poor, organic, hipster bastard.