Barbie’s main squeeze Ken got a makeover, and some people are urging him to re-examine his life choices.
Reactions to makeovers are usually mixed, but Barbie maker Mattel really raised some eyebrows when it unveiled 15 new Fashionista Ken dolls. While Barbie — who underwent her own makeover last year — only got some fashion updates, Ken underwent some some major changes.
Let’s shout out Barbie first, who is looking very of the moment (this is just one of 25 new outfits):
This new Barbie lives in Bushwick pic.twitter.com/HYwmrTqsU1— Amanda Mull (@amandamull) June 20, 2017
The Ken changes, meanwhile, are getting a bit of side-eye.
On the positive side, Ken now comes in slim and broad body types in addition to his traditional superhero pecs, as well as seven skin tones, nine hairstyles and “modern fashion looks.” It’s the first significant update in Ken’s aesthetic, barring some questionable trends, since his 1961 creation.
"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," said Lisa McKnight, senior vice president and general manager of Barbie.
We’re digging the feminist twist of shucking the corporate sugar daddy vibe Ken has always given off to be more of a fun-loving partner on adventures with Barbie.
And while the new body types should’ve been a moment of male body positivity that built on 2015’s dad bod trend, the internet has been all about the new hair. Specifically, the dubious choice of the “trendy man bun,” in Mattel’s words (cornrows, a short natural black hairstyle and a front-swooping blond coif didn’t generate nearly the same attention.)
Mattel even gave him his own hashtag, #ManBunKen. The internet Had Thoughts (and shared what sounds like thinly veiled Tinder date disasters with man buns):
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
Does man bun Ken doll also come with a Soul Cycle membership, vintage record player, and $50,000 in student loan debt? pic.twitter.com/ulEwGSxxb1— Emily Jashinsky (@emilyjashinsky) June 20, 2017
Natural next step since the release of more physically diverse Barbie molds, but man-bun Ken should have flexible hair that could do more. https://t.co/pOfc8Jv3v5— Naomi María (@naomimaria) June 20, 2017
Man-bun Ken doll just interrupted me to tell me that Bernie would have won. pic.twitter.com/Mnu8pAXV7F— summer goth (@NicCageMatch) June 20, 2017
Easy with the heteronormativity, though.
None of them look like they'd be interested in Barbie anymore.— Jay NewBootieNews (@ItsAnAnalBurp) June 20, 2017
And while Ken's certainly come a long way, we're not at full representation yet.
Mattel introduces new diverse line of Ken dolls, including man bun, dad bod, petite, cornrow. Still no bearded, bald, or tattooed though. pic.twitter.com/fNBiXo2Pi4— Mike Sington (@MikeSington) June 20, 2017