Mattel is introducing 15 new “Ken” dolls, to take their place alongside the more famous “Barbie” dolls, who experienced their own makeovers more than a year ago. Or to take their place alongside other Ken dolls, of course, wink, wink, nudge, nudge.
The reason for the introduction of the new Ken dolls is the same as it was for the revamping of the Barbie figures: to make the toys more appealing to today’s kids, awash in a swelling sea of diversity. There will be new skin tones, body shapes and hair styles available, as well as updated apparel and accessory choices.
Mattel says Ken will now be available with cornrow and “man bun” hairstyles. Sadly, however, I am not privy to all of the exciting options as of this writing, but I am free to speculate excitedly! One would hope that other hair options would include a mohawk, afro, ponytail, bouffant…and none at all, for that “skinhead” look so popular with certain European soccer fans.
Ken used to be a uniformly chiseled figure, but I’m pretty sure Ken will now be available in everything from “emaciated” to “morbidly obese.” This is a wonderful breakthrough. Here’s hoping the flabbier Kens will come sporting “man boobs.”
And one can easily imagine the vast array of tattoos and piercings that will soon be available to adorn our modern Barbie and Ken dolls! Yeah, baby! That’s what I’m talkin’ about! I can’t wait to see little Jacks and Jackies looking for just the right spot to place a cat tattoo, nipple clamp or penis ring!
Ken should now have the option to don a hooded sweatshirt, toga, sari, taqiyah or thobe in addition to a nearly limitless variety of footwear! I strongly suggest Mattel make all parts and accessories interchangeable on a unisex torso. This would make for a nearly limitless number of looks, and take doll inclusivity and diversity to a completely new level! Either Ken or Barbie could sport one Ken leg and one Barbie leg, for example. One Ken breast and one Barbie breast, one blue eye and one black one, etc., etc. With snap on apparel, accessories and genitalia, all (doll) things are possible! It would be we- homo sapiens sapiens- that would be jealous, would it not? Talk about transforming!
Finally, dear readers, let’s take a look at some potential new versions of the formerly boring, bourgeois Ken doll, shall we? I suggest the following for starters:
1) Comedian Ken- would come with props such as a severed head look-alike of a current president. Would appear aggrieved if people didn’t think he was funny, but also be unable to shed actual tears. No matter how hard he tried.
2) ISIS Ken- would sport a strap-on bomb vest and a machine gun and be able to say “Allahu Akbar!” while making sure Barbie was fully clothed.
3) “Kenneth” would wear a floral print belted blazer, a scarf tie to die for, and mandals…while looking fabulous bitching to Butch Barbie about Trump’s latest outrage.
The possibilities are endless in this brave new world. Mattel says all of the modernized Kens will be available in time for the holidays.
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