Our prayers have been answered. After nearly sixty years, it seems that Mattel has finally given in to our relentless demands for a Ken doll with a man bun. We have fought tooth and nail for a doll that looks like he exclusively drinks kombucha tea out of mason jars and we’ve won the battle.
Mattel has expanded their line of Barbie and Ken dolls to make up for the fact that fewer kids are as interested in Barbie as they were back in the day (and fewer parents want to buy model-thin dolls for their impressionable daughters, understandably). Now, finally, the Barbieverse can represent all of the body types: Tall, Short, Thin, Very Thin, Less Thin, Glasses, and Dad Bod. That last one is just the regular Ken Doll but his abs aren’t as defined.
Barbie and Ken dolls representing different races and ethnicities isn’t exactly a new concept but maybe this new promotion means the plastic bleach blond duo we’ve always known won’t be the poster children for the company anymore. It’s for the best.
Don’t take my snark as being a statement against this ploy to relate to a new generation. I am 110% pro Man Bun Ken. There is nothing wrong with including diversity in products for children, and it’s about time Ken keep up with the trends of 2017. Mattel’s marketing team didn’t exactly miss the mark in terms of what’s fashionable- this is definitely not as out of touch as when they accidentally made a Ken with a cock ring necklace.
But what really rattles my bones is the backlash against these new dolls- calling them “a sign of the apocalypse”. It’s an overreaction, to say the least. Wouldn’t 7-year-old you have wanted a more diverse crew of dolls in the Dream House? Wouldn’t you have enjoyed having more fashion-forward studs in your toy box? Embrace the change. Embrace the man bun.