Barbie

Barbie’s “Friend” Ken Finally Got a Makeover

mattel

Mattel

Remember Ken? You know, Barbie’s beau? Well, now there are 15 new Ken dolls, as revealed by Good Morning America. These dolls come in three different body types, seven different skin tones, and nine different hairstyles–similar to the revamp Barbie saw last year.

Lisa McKnight, Barbie senior vice president and general manager, stated:

“By continuing to expand our product line, we are redefining what a Barbie or Ken doll looks like to this generation. Evolving Ken was a natural evolution for the brand and allows girls to further personalize the role they want him to play in Barbie’s world.”

According to Los Angeles TimesKen will be available in “original,” “slim,” and “broad.” While that isn’t really diverse, it’s a step up from one-size-fits-all.  His hairstyles, it appears, include a bun (or man bun) and cornrows. It’s refreshing to see Mattel take a more inclusive turn with their Barbie line in the past few years–and hopefully this will inspire more change within the brand and elsewhere.

Kids learn about the world around them based on what they play with and watch, and while it’s easy to say “toys are just toys,” they matter. I’m glad to see positive steps being taken–and really, even on an aesthetic level (besides the fact that it helps dispel racism and body stigmas), it’s fun to have options, rather than the same old blonde Ken doll. Because you know, real people are a lot more interesting, so why not have dolls that reflect that?

As of now, 10 of these dolls are available to purchase now; the other five will be available in the next few months.

The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. Comments are moderated, so use your inside voices, keep your hands to yourself, and no, we're not interested in herbal supplements.

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