We’ve known him our whole lives, the perfect boyfriend, but has lived in Barbie’s shadow his whole life. Who else other than the handsome Ken, himself? Released back in 1961, he is still the icon of a dream boyfriend even today. Yesterday, (March 11th) Ken celebrated his 50th birthday. Ken has surely been through a lot since 1961 with all the breakups, makeups, and hundreds of fashion statements & changes.
Ken first came out two years after Barbie (Barbie was released in 1959). He has been a man of flawless image and perfection ever since. His hair was perfect, his body was perfect, his love for Barbie was perfect… of course until the tragic breakup in 2004. Even Ken’s clothes were perfect. In the eyes of the public Ken is the dream boyfriend, and just all around amazing and perfect.
That is really what strikes me, we have never seen Ken’s real personality, seen the real Ken in action (i.e. tv shows, movies, books, not even comics) until his debut role in Toy Story 3, and yet we have what might have been a misconception of what Ken really is like. Before Toy Story 3 all we saw and knew about Ken were his outfits, his looks, and that he loves Barbie. From only all of that we get this view of Ken that he’s automatically perfect in every way, that he’s the man of our dreams. Almost nothing can be based upon good looks.
“Never reveal all of yourself to other people; hold back something in reserve so that people are never quite sure if they really know you.” -Michael Korda
Surely Mattel didn’t intentionally hold back certain attributes of Ken’s personality, but I am definitely not sure if I really know Ken. Ken is only a doll, aside from Toy Story 3 we truly don’t know Ken at all. Where’s his personality? His interests? (that apparently depends on what he’s wearing) You know nothing from a man who dresses nicely, and is dating Barbie. All this time we have looked upon Ken as we would look at the leading male in our favorite soap opera, but in reality we don’t know Ken at all, whatsoever.
During these 50 years society has obsessed over this pseudo-boyfriend, dreaming of finding their “Ken” in life. Cause “every girl needs her Ken,” right? Wrong. A word of advice ladies, we don’t know Ken at all… don’t look for “your Ken”, you would get lost along the way, look for your man, the other half of your heart, the love of your life. Because every girl needs her man that she truly knows.