Barbie’s boyfriend Ken is getting a makeover. Mattel’s classic dolls, which all look completely different but are all somehow still Ken, now represent a range of heights, skin tones, fashion mistakes and hairstyles — most notably, a man bun. [Sidebar: A few weeks ago I saw a child wearing a man bun at my suburban nephew’s fourth grade band concert. I surmised that this meant the trend had descended into, to quote Lin-Manuel Miranda, the pits of fashion; Ken’s new ‘do confirms it.] In this edition of Things I’m Willing to Believe About – where we provide baseless conjecture about heartthrobs, politicians, and apparently toys – we’re going to look at Barbie’s toy boy-toy, New Ken.
According to their Twitter bios, six of the Kens’ actual job is “influencer.”
These Kens were all in the same frat, and they really are all named Ken. And they all go by Kenny.
The Ken on the far left is actually a rejected Rachel Maddow Barbie prototype.
Actually, Maddow, the one with the black skinny tie, the one with the opaque sunglasses and Malibu 01 are all from a failed line of Lesbian Hipster Barbies. Optional add-ons included a rescue pit bull, a Subaru and hummus.
The Kens have a boys’ cottage weekend every summer and planning the rental is always DRAMA.
Man Bun Ken in the blue shirt got his hair cut before Man Bun Ken in the cactus shirt. He says it’s cool but it’s, you know, not.
When you tell Blue Checkered Ken you’re a fan of the Mets, he says “okay, name their best infield lineup.”
Pink California Shirt Ken tells you how to use the machine you’re already using at the gym.
Polka Dot Ken got his blouse at Zara and he insists on pronouncing it with a Spanish ‘z.’
It’s not even that Tropical Pineapple Shirt Ken likes Coachella so much, it’s that he says shit like “taking my soul up to Coachella for the weekend.”
Yellow Plaid Maddow Ken wrote a blog post about why the praise for Wonder Woman was overblown and unwarranted. Wrote a follow-up post on the women’s only screening. Wrote a follow-follow-up post after he actually saw the movie. Charitably confided that he’s “still do Robin Wright.”
Red Plaid Ken is your friend’s boyfriend who will help you change your tire or put in your air-conditioners, but he’s not hitting on you or anything, that’s just how his mom raised him.
Opaque Sunglasses Ken’s favorite rapper is Macklemore.
9 out of 11 Kens prefer vinyl. 4 out of 11 Kens actually own a record player. 3 out of 11 will make you come over and listen to a new record on a second date.
You made out with blue-shirted Man Bun Ken at church camp when he had a floppy skater haircut, and he acts like he doesn’t remember you when you run into him at a bar but you know he does.
That reminds me. In ninth grade all of The Kens had floppy skater haircuts.
When you get your hair cut and leave with a fresh blow-out, The Kens will be sure to tell you that it looks so much prettier naturally curly.
The Kens’ favorite book is Catcher In The Rye.
Cactus Ken wrote his senior thesis on Ginsberg’s Howl.
The Kens are surface-friendly, but they go hard on anybody who deigns to wear cargo shorts.
Malibu 01 Ken is on an office kickball team that he takes rather seriously.
A few of The Kens have girlfriends, all of whom refer to themselves as a “girl boss” and frequently post about how they “hustle;” the girlfriends have coffee mugs emblazoned with some kind of slogan about working hard.
When A Ken proposes marriage, he will do it on a mountaintop and Instagram it.
A handful of The Kens have instagrammed Airstreams but no Ken actually owns an Airstream.
It’s funny, Cactus Ken actually does have a lot of succulents.
If you want to meet The Kens, they will be at your nearest Farmers’ Market this Saturday, early but not early-early.