Ken gets makeover: Cornrows, beefy bod and new skin tones

Ruben Ruiz
June 20, 2017

You can already get your hands on a new Ken doll via the Barbie official website.

It's certainly not the first time the 56-year-old boyfriend of Barbie has switched up his look.

Good Morning America revealed this morning there will soon be 15 new Ken dolls available for purchase: these aren't like regular Ken dolls, they're cool Ken dolls that will come in three different body types, seven different skin tones, and nine different hairstyles. And much like Barbie's evolution into a doll that comes in sizes other than "impossibly ideal", Ken is getting a new look that more closely reflects today's reality: He's got a man-bun, a dad-bod, and comes in a more diverse range of skin tones.

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This calculated diversification includes black Kens with cornrows, Kens with a man bun, and male fashion blogger Kens in flannel, Gingham, and skinny ties. Mattel announced Tuesday, June 20, 2017, that the company is introducing 15 new looks for the male doll, giving him new skin tones, body shapes and hair styles. The makeover is part of the toy companys plan to make its dolls more diverse and appeal to todays kids.

"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, Barbie. Mattel frames it as a natural progression, coming the year after the Barbie diversity push, but this is just as much, if not more so, a business decision for the toy company that's been trying to turn around its core Barbie business. All of them will be on store shelves by the holidays.

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