Ken is eternally young, but unlike Dorian Gray, literature’s great immortal, this has not made him dark and sinister. In fact, he is always smiling. Maybe he has a portrait in his attic that takes on all of his bad moods as well. He needs it to have stood by Barbie for decades as she chased after fame and expensive clothing, cars and beach homes and as she tried on one career after another. Research shows that good looking men are actually more aware of the social power of their beauty than women are. So Ken always knew he had lots of options, yet he stood at Barbie’s side, as high maintenance as she was. Maybe he was able to keep his good humor because no one ever criticized him as an example of beauty that it was impossible for men to “attain.” So unfair to Barbie, who ever said people were supposed to “attain” her looks? Some marketers. She spent a lot of nights crying on Ken’s shoulder over that one so she could keep up her smile in public.
-Something I wrote in response to a query for an article on the birthday of the Ken doll. I heard it was going to be included in the article, but I never learned if it ran anywhere.