(Image via Lyst)
The month of February has been big for the Barbie brand. After years of criticism, the doll behemoth finally unveiled an entirely new line of marginally realistic, diverse models, including a tall one, a petite one, and a "curvy" one with blue hair that's pretty badass. Mattel even went so far as to give the campaign a hashtag that hopefully leaves the door open for further improvement as we realize that giving children adult dolls with missing genitals is kind of creepy: #TheDollEvolves.
Now that's we've reimagined the plastic surgery caricature that was Barbie, though, folks are asking an important question: What about Ken?
Ken, Except, You Know, Attainable
Well, fear not, dear Vikings. (Can I call you that?) A company called Lyst challenged one of its graphic designers to devise a series of male dolls that more accurately depicts what it's like to be a man IRL. There's a dad bod doll, of course, because there are a lot of frat boys on Planet Earth to appease, but there's also a hipster Ken complete with a tattoo (I'm into it), a surfer Ken, an Asian Ken, and an African American Ken.
The design includes more variation in height between the dolls, and not all of them are muscled like the Governator—which is a good thing considering children use these dolls to emulate who they want to be when they grow up. And I think we can all agree on this much: We can't all surpass 6'3 and become swimsuit models, but we can all learn to do a kegstand. We live in a beautiful world.
Mattel isn't behind this ingenuity, but Lyst says they've had so many requests for the reimagined Kens that they might actually produce them. I fully support this and am happy to see the variety of Barbies hitting Toys R Us shelves everywhere, but I don't think we've gone far enough.
No. There are far more corners of this lacquered, plastic universe left to renovate.
Channing Tatum, is that you?
I ask you this: Why not create props and settings that are a little more accurate and portentous than the ones we currently offer the children of America? I don't remember ever owning a Porta Potty at a Music Festival or The Wine Aisle of my Local Grocery Store as potential adult environments when I was a wee child, and that would have been a far more accurate depiction of my future. To give kids a realistic look at what's to come, we should probably ditch the Barbie palace, the private jet, the sparkly pink Jeep, and the sprawling beach mansion. Here are the settings I propose:
- A Small Apartment With a Mold Problem
- A Sport's Bar
- A Pottery Barn, Except Designed Like Hell
- The Subway
- A Used Scion
- A Pizza
- An Airplane With Several Screaming Infants (and No Pretzels)
- A Strip Club
- A Vegas Hotel Room
- Dollar Margarita Night at the Nearest Vaguely Authentic Mexican Restaurant
- Forever 21
- Whole Foods
- The Sale Room at Urban Outfitters
- A Keg on a Beer-Soaked and Dilapidated Wooden Porch
(Image via Pinterest)
Welcome to adulthood.