Mattel Announce The 'Next Gen Ken' Range Following Barbie's 2016 Body-Positive Makeover
When the creators behind Barbie decided it was time for a change, the world rejoiced at the idea of children playing with dolls that didn't instil such unattainable beauty standards. Barbies became plus-sized, petite, mutli-racial and more, meanwhile poor old Kenny boy was left with his six pack and biceps, until now.
Mattel's announcement of its new line-up - 15 diversified Ken dolls - has come just over a year after Barbie's body positive makeover, and it's Ken's time to shine. The range, coined as "New Gen Ken" is not only now available in three sizes - broad, slim, and original - he's also available in seven different skin tones, eight hair colours and nine hairstyles. And yes, that does include a man bun.
People have been waiting for this for a while, with different sources mocking up images of what Ken could look like if he underwent the same transformation as his lady friend. After Barbie's revamp, company Lammily - who produce their own 'realistically-proportioned' dolls - petitioned for Ken to receive the same treatment.
"By continuing to expand our product line, we are redefining what a Barbie or Ken doll looks like to this generation," said Lisa McKnight, Senior Vice President and General Manager at Barbie. "Evolving Ken was a natural evolution for the brand and allows girls to further personalise the role they want him to play in Barbie's world."
This increase in representation will help children feel comfortable in their own bodies, with a wider range of shapes, sizes and ethnicities being celebrated rather than just the usual leggy blonde and svelte muscle man dolls that have previously taken up space on toy store shelves. Plus, it's nice to see body positivity gaining momentum towards men as well as women, and seeing the positive affects directly impacting the younger generation.