There are a lot of negative things to be said about Barbie dolls, it is true, but I can’t help myself: I will always be a fan. I’m not the only one who bonded with friends and cousins over making our Barbie and Ken dolls have sex... right? Right. Chances are good that it’s been a few years since you last played with these dolls, but that doesn’t mean you’ve forgotten about them completely – and yes, they’re still around. As society progresses and struggles to become more body positive and inclusive, Mattel has had to give these dolls some much needed changes in order to keep up. And the latest update to the new Ken dolls is something you’ll definitely want to see.
Good Morning America gave us a look at the latest dolls this morning, and you won’t believe what the Ken dolls look like now. Okay, maybe you actually will, as I’m honestly a little surprised this didn’t happen earlier. The latest models of Ken are super diverse, which has been a long time coming. The 15 new dolls include three different body types, seven different skin tones, and nine different hairstyles. One of the more noticeable options? The Ken doll featuring a tiny little man bun. Oh, and he’s also supposed to be mixed race, which is pretty awesome.
Yes, it’s true: you can now own a Ken doll who is not only rocking a man bun, but also a cactus printed shirt, and what looks like gold sparkly sneakers. Although this is the one feature that everyone has been obsessed with, it is definitely not the only change worth talking about. The different hairstyles, clothing styles, and skin tones mean there is something for everyone. As much as I’d like to poke fun at these extremely trendy dolls, I can’t – this is wholesome, pure, and pretty great.
A Mattel spokesperson explained the change, saying, “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.” Is this a ploy to get people to buy Barbie and Ken dolls? Sure, definitely, but it’s one I can get behind. Weren’t we all pretty sick of the generic blonde, built Ken?
My other personal favorites include the Ken doll with cornrows, who is rocking a very stylish skinny tie and silver sneakers:
I’m very into the Ken doll who looks like Clark Kent with his sturdy glasses, “nerdy” flannel, and serious expression:
And yes, it’s true: I can’t help but love this Ken doll who looks like he belongs in a mix of California and the Jersey Shore, surfing while chugging a beer for Snapchat, and wearing his silver sunglasses at night because… I don’t know why:
Oh, and for some reason, I really love this black Ken with Mattel’s version of a “dad bod,” mainly because he looks friendly and happy and extremely earnest:
The above dolls aren’t the only new additions. There are mixed race Kens, Latino Kens, Asian Kens, and yes, more white Kens. You can get a preppy Ken doll who summers in Cape Cod, or a very well-groomed Ken who loves a good tropical button-down. Maybe you want a chill Ken with a vest, or a flannel-shirt-wearing Ken who looks like he has a good job and a stable relationship with Barbie.
And yes, of course, Twitter is very busy roasting Mattel for the man bun situation:
I don't even own Mattel's new man bun Ken Doll but he already told me the dangers of processed food and how Bernie would have beaten Trump. pic.twitter.com/rjxQQFiEfI
— Sully Sullivan (@Mikey_Sul) June 20, 2017
The unveiling of the new Man Bun Ken doll makes me think of this wildly inappropriate meme. pic.twitter.com/eGwsH8aB9Q
— Laura (@Laura_Beth_02) June 20, 2017
The new "Man Bun" Ken doll comes with shirt, shoes, and keys to Barbie's car that he's driving until he "gets back on his feet again." pic.twitter.com/gYmXwR9WEc
— Benjamin Siemon (@BenjaminJS) June 20, 2017
Honestly, though? I’m into it. Even if you, personally, think man buns are lame, some people out there don’t… and the whole point of these diverse dolls is to give kids (and young adults) more relatable options than just the white, blonde Ken we’ve all been used to. I think these dolls are a pretty great addition to the curvier Barbie dolls Mattel introduced last year. Now, don’t lie – who else is going to buy one?
What do you think of the new Ken dolls? Which one is your favorite? What do you think they should have included that they forgot? Tell us in the comments.