The rise of the dad-bod shows no signs of abating after Mattel confirmed plans for a branch new kind of Ken doll: one that’s a little broader and more realistic looking than previous efforts.
It’s not those of a thicker build who are about to get immortilised in molded plastic either; the new range of Ken dolls will also include one doll boasting a man-bun.
Under the plans, dolls will come in a choice of “slim” or “broad” shape with six new hairstyles added to the range, including cornrows, and a seven different skin tones.
It’s all part of a concerted effort from Mattel to celebrate body inclusivity for men and women having previously produced three different types of Barbie – tall, curvy and petite.
“By continuing to expand our product line, we are redefining what a Barbie or Ken doll looks like to this generation,” Lisa McKnight, senior vice president and general manager for Barbie said.
“Evolving Ken was a natural evolution for the brand and allows girls to further personalize the role they want him to play in Barbie’s world.”
It’s not just about representation and changing perception around body shape either – Mattel actually saw an increase in sales as a result of their recent overhaul of the Barbie range.
The move comes months after the company immortalised Ashley Graham in doll form as part of a similar effort to promote different body types.
While the change will pass most men and, potentially, a significant proportion of young boys by, it could help create a balanced view on body types for men and women – though males have largely escaped the kind of criticism levelled at females in the public eye in the past.
Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.