We confess! We love Mattel’s collection of new Ken dolls. It shows today’s diversity in ethnicity and fashion trends…but body-type seems to be another story. Dad-bod Ken Doll is still M.I.A.
New Ken Dolls
The evolution of Ken dolls parallels that of the fashion-conscious American male through the years. Making his debut as Barbie’s companion in 1961, Ken came with blue eyes and fuzzy blonde or brunette hair. Clad in only red shorts and cork flip flops, he stereotyped Californian beach life.
Preppy Ken soon followed, complete with crisp white pants and the obligatory navy blazer that every man had to have in his wardrobe. A vest and skinny tie added a layered look that could be mixed and matched—a practical feature we still embrace.
The next decades brought more sporty, colorful clothing for Fashionista Ken. Eye-popping shirts in vibrant colors paired with baggy bottoms followed by jeans and tee shirts reflected the need for a relaxed, more comfortable lifestyle. He enjoyed only basic stripes, checks and plaid shirt patterns.
More Diversity in colors and fashion, less so in body mass.
Not only has Ken’s clothing kept up with the times, so have his skin tones and body shape…sort of. We love that Mattel has addressed the issue of ethnic diversity and wisely added broad and slim body build versions. However, Dad-bod and Chunky Ken must be back at the bar together because they are nowhere to be found. Because if they think Broad Ken is average, Mattel needs a reality check. Check out the image below showing three “broad” Ken dolls hanging out and tell us what you think.