about ken

Posted: June 26th, 2017 | No Comments »

ken dolls of the future. courtesy of gq.

awesome article about mattel’s new versions of ken (i had a ken doll growing up, who i pretended was bo duke of the dukes of hazzard and occasionally made to have rubbing type interactions with barbie):

That’s because Ken is the carefully calibrated ideal complement to Barbie—a blank, smiling man who does not threaten the stardom of the most intelligent, talented, rappin’ rockin’ princess astronaut in all of Malibu. Ken is “nice,” the members of the Barbie team will tell me over and over when I ask them to describe a doll’s personality: “a nice guy”; “a solid dude”; and, most damningly: “I picture him kind of Ryan Seacrest-y.”

Well, not anymore. Starting now, Mattel is re-imagining the all-American guy. He may not be as inspiring as an imaginary female solo homeowner or the first imaginary female president, but that doesn’t mean he can’t have a rich imaginary inner life. The decision to give him some depth marks a new chapter for men, and dolls who are men. From this day forward, Ken doesn’t always have to look like the most basic frat bro ever to get a B- in econ. He can be complicated, mysterious—maybe even vegan.


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