Ken Dolls Got a Body-Positive Makeover & We Are HERE for It

ken doll
Mattel
When it comes to self-image, a lot of our opinions were informed through our childhood experiences. Be it getting bullied or the toys we played with, all of the small details of those interactions mattered. In an attempt to change the conversation around women's bodies from a young age, Mattel made over Barbie and let her come in various sizes, skin tones, and hair types. Now, Barbie's boyfriend is getting the same treatment

  • In fact, the "Fashionista Ken" line completely transforms Ken as we know him.

    new ken doll
    Mattel

    Ken now comes in three body shapes -- slim, broad, and original -- and has seven different skin tones. 

    He even has a man-bun.

    "When kids are really young, a lot of [storytelling] is about understanding the world around them," Michael Shore, Mattel's head of global consumer insights, told GQ. "So it's 'house play.'" 

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  • So, naturally, Ken's role has dramatically shifted as well.

    new ken
    Mattel
  • According to GQ, Mattel says that as Barbie takes on more gender-neutral roles, Ken is less of a romantic interest and more of a buddy.

    new ken doll
    Mattel

    "You see Barbie and Ken representing a lot of the people in the kids' lives," Shore told the mag. "Barbie could be 'sister,' and Ken could be 'brother.' Of course, 'mom'/'dad,' 'mom'/'uncle,' 'mom'/'friend,' 'dad'/'friend.'"

  • Likely "daddy" or "brother" isn't a muscle-laden, blonde-haired, blue-eyed boy, so the diversity in male dolls matters too.

    new ken dolls
    Mattel

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    It's pretty great to see Mattel consciously including diverse men with natural hair and anti-stereotypical body types -- it will definitely make for better girls and better relationships in the long run. 

    The line will be officially available in spring 2018

body image body positivity