Stories of a world gone mad: Barbie gets makeover; now, let’s update Ken

Barbie logo/photo submitted

Barbie logo/photo submitted

By Barry Currin

Barbie is finally getting real.

You’ve probably heard that Mattel has started making the iconic doll in new shapes: tall, petite and curvy.

But, it doesn’t stop there. The new Barbie is also available in eight skin tones, 14 facial structures, 22 hairstyles, 23 hair colors and 18 eye colors. I’m serious. I looked it up.

And, no, I don’t know what the remaining 14 eye colors are. I just sat here for 10 minutes trying to think of hazel.

While it appears that Mattel has all the politically-correct bases covered now, I saw no mention of either “Rebellious Tattoo” or “Facebook Over-posting” Barbie. Maybe they’re coming later. Who knows?

I am disappointed, though, not to hear any news about a makeover for Ken.

I need to know when that frisky fellow is going to reflect how real men look: your neighbor, the mailman, me, Clooney.

I feel slighted. But, instead of pointing fingers and whining, I am going to be part of the solution and suggest some ideas for updated Ken dolls. Here are some possibilities.

“Oversleeping Ken” comes with a bulging email inbox, 13 unread voicemails, a ferocious case of bedhead and pillowcase creases on his face. A neat feature here is that the older he gets, the further in the day his face creases remain visible. By the time he’s middle-aged, they’re there through lunch. It’s hilarious.

Since it’s an election year, I present to you “Angry Voter Ken.” He comes with his own collection of mean little bumper stickers, a handgun carry permit and a mountain of student loan debt. Incidentally, he arrives already hidden from your Facebook timeline to save you the trouble.

Ladies, prepare yourself for “ESPN Ken.” This doll trades his six-pack abs for a six-pack and a frosty mug. Just feast your eyes on his expanding midriff, comfy recliner, four-page honey-do list and the little TV that really receives 86 sports channels, including the SEC Network. (You just thought he didn’t communicate before.) Push the little button in his back, and Ken even orders pizza.

“Are We There Yet Ken” has a car that only drives around in circles while he refuses to ask for directions. For extra fun, stick Barbie in the passenger seat and enjoy listening to him argue with her and Siri about which exit they should take. Screaming baby not included.

“Knows Two Spanish Words Ken” is the one who always says hola to the server at the Mexican restaurant before ordering a cerveza. Then, if his tablemates don’t chuckle, he says it louder until they acknowledge him. Espanol Ken comes with a couch and afghan so he can blissfully sleep off the No. 8 (beef, of course) for the entire evening.

I envision a world where soon there will be a Ken for every Barbie. And, even if she has blue hair with “Earl” tattooed on her neck, one of these guys will be showered, shaved and willing to do his best to woo her.

And, hopefully for his sake, she will like football better than that old one did.


(About the writer: Barry Currin runs, a humor, sports and entertainment website. “Stories of a World Gone Mad” is published weekly. Email him at   

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