After toy giant Mattel announced the diverse additions of curvy, petite and tall body types to its iconic Barbie doll a week ago, Twitter demanded a few updates to her toned and trim boyfriend Ken as well.
Fashion ecommerce site Lyst has answered the request by creating a mock line of diverse male Ken dolls, which include Beach DadBod Ken, Bearded Hipster Ken and Balding Ken.
— Mashable (@mashable) February 3, 2016
Mattel has been criticized for decades over Barbie’s impractical body proportions. Meanwhile, Ken has flown under the radar, remaining relatively unchanged since his creation in 1961.
According to Lyst editorial director Katherine Ormerod, “Men need plastic role models too.”
Ormerod told Mashable, “Ken has been a top menswear influencer for over 50 years, but like Barbie, he needs a makeover every now and again.”
Like the new Barbies, which are being marketed to millennial mothers who represent greater diversity, the Lyst collection includes Ken dolls of various heights, skin tones and hair textures.
Mashable reports the new Kens are currently just mockups, but Lyst could start producing them soon.
Ormerod told the site, “We’ve been inundated with requests for us to produce and sell the dolls, which gives a real insight into the appeal of the more diverse Kens.”
She added, “Hipster Ken seems to be the favorite by a long way… It’s clear from the response that the world needs more Kens.”