Meet the Next Gen Ken Dolls: The Personalities Behind Barbie's New Squad of Plastic Hotties
Introducing the newest Kens to join Barbie's fab gang! Barbie's squad is looking less and less like an episode of super-white Madmen and more and more like you've walked into a hip coffee shop in Malibu! Mattel has released fifteen new Next Gen Ken dolls, which promotes diversity with three new body types and many different skin tones. From the much-tweeted "Man-Bun Ken" to "Best Buy's Geek Squad Chic" Ken, here are the (totally unofficial) personalities and style inspirations behind Barbie's fifteen best
Say Hello to Ken No. 1: "Mamma's Boy" Ken
"Mamma's Boy" Ken is a new man after his realization that you can, in fact, wear white shoes after Labor Day no matter what his controlling mother says. Ken No. 1 likes to sport a look that's clean cut, hovering between prep and metrosexual, and his favorite accessories are his sea-foam green eyes. He grew up into the Aaron Carter we 90s girls needed and deserved, not the one that we got.
Ken No. 2 - "Smolder!" Ken
Ken No. 2 spends half of his time accidentally judging everyone else's eyebrows. He can't help it. His own are just so naturally perfect. Smolder Ken prefers Friday nights out on the town, is one hell of a dancer, and secretly loves country music. His dream date? A private ballroom dance class followed by dessert, talking about your family, and debating the ethics of capitalism. He's rocking boots that are better than yours, perfectly rolled skinny jeans, and the only shirt with pineapples that isn't shit.
Meeeeeeet Ken No. 3! He's Growing Into A Real Personality! We Promise!
Ken No. 4 is that guy in your Econ class that you dislike for no real reason, but you have to admit that he has killer hair. Ken No. 4 still has a few years before he's not an absolute douche-canoe, but you only have to get him talking about animals to realize he's not a total dick. Once he starts educating himself on social issues, he'll realize that you can play Flag Football on Friday Night and watch Breakfast at Tiffany's Saturday morning without his masculinity being threatened. His green checkered shirt and bro-sandals indicate that he is open to wearing man rompers, but he'll call them rom-hims until he feels more comfortable with himself. In two years, when he runs out of solo cups and starts adopting dogs, he'll be a catch.
Ken No. 4:
Ken No. 4 is, hands down, the funniest guy you know. He's always ready with a one-liner and that easy grin that got him voted "Best Smile" back in his high school yearbook. He wants to be a pediatrician, and he's working on his undergrad in biology, as evidenced by his super bio-major looking WaterWorld orange sweats and blue and white stripped first mate tee.No, seriously, Ken No. 4 is just a very solid human being who has actual life goals. There's no joke here. Look at that plastic smile. This is a doll with a ten year plan that involves making as many people as happy as possible, volunteering with homeless youth, and starring as the main sibling in a relatable teen sitcom.
Ken No. 5: "Do It For the Vine!" Ken
Ken No. 5 is an energetic extrovert who's always up for trying new foods and taking on any dares. His life was tragically thrown off-track when Vine shut down, and he realized that he had to reassess his online presence. Now Ken No. 5 runs a well-liked YouTube channel where he vlogs about his weekly adventures and links to an Instagram where he ranks onion rings at different restaurants.
Ken No. 6: "My Chemical Romance" Ken
Ken No. 6 leads a double life: ROTC jock by day, tortured artist by night. As seen by his trendy team sweatshirt and camo shorts, he's a pretty boy with a haunted soul, one who's infinitely better at smokey eye looks than you are. Ken No. 6 has a tragic backstory that you won't be able to unlock until you attend open mike night at his favorite local coffee shop, where he'll accompany his original slam poetry with riffs on his midnight blue electric guitar. He owns every Fall Out Boy CD and his hero is David Blaine.
Ken No. 7: "You Dropped Your Pencil" Ken
A genuinely sweet guy, Ken No. 7 is usually too shy to take the lead in conversations. But once you get him talking, he has some really interesting, well-structured opinions on everything from politics to your favorite Netflix show. A history major to the core, he can't drink more than one beer without suddenly talking ten times louder about historically inaccurate Disney films.
Ken No. 8: "CEO of The Future" Ken
Look at those shoes. Ken No. 8 is clearly a time-traveler who's come back to 2017 to save us all from a hideous fate. He's business casual John Connor, taking a break from efficiently managing his start-up empire to keep us all from, I don't know, investing too much in cars that drive themselves or something spooky.He's more than his sleek, hypermodern savior complex: Ken No. 8 also likes well-planned daily itineraries, getting drinks with his closest friends, 80s synth pop, looking like a Space Mormon, and flying around in his custom jet-pack.
Ken No. 9: "Cinnamon Roll" Ken
Look at this tiny little angel. Ken No. 9 can do no wrong. There isn't a cruel bone in his body, or any unethically created clothing on top of it. Ken No. 9 is vegan, enjoys pensive walks on the beach, ropes courses, and helping his grandmother with her crocheting. Ken No. 9 is so good, so pure, that he nearly seems undateable. How could you, a mere mortal, ever relate to someone so morally sound? He's the kind of guy you dream your future daughter or son will marry. That's how good he is.
Ken No. 10: "Best Buy's Geek Squad Chic" Ken
Ken No. 10 is capitalizing on the sexy nerd trend because why the hell not. His glasses don't even have lenses. He likes to throw out big, academic buzz-words like "hegemony" and "Jungian," and he's majoring in philosophy because of course (we love you real philosophy majors, but we know that you know at least three of these guys in your classes). Ken No. 10 is going to be a lot happier four years down the road, when he realizes that you don't have to wear plaid everyday to look smart and that he really has a passion for indie video-game design, which will require another degree and probably more plaid shirts.
The One, the Only Ken No. 11: The Infamous "Man-Bun" Ken
Man-Bun Ken is just like you or me, only with a tiny pouf of hair that sprouts off the top of his head. He didn't ask to be the face of Next Gen Ken. He didn't ask for the fame or the hype, or the derogatory comments from your older relatives on Facebook. No, Man-Bun Ken lives a simple life of too much denim, ultimate Frisbee, and smoking pot at Coachella while he waits for the app he designed to really take off. Man-Bun Ken enjoys the simple things in life, like playing his ukulele on the street corner, protein blends, and taking Internet quizzes that all tell him that he's Rachel from Friends.
Ken No. 12: "The Obvious Winner" Ken
Arguably the hottest dude in the new Barbie Crew, Ken No. 12 is That Guy. You know. That Guy Who's Better At Everything Than You. Ken No. 12 is casually triple majoring, was offered a spot on two different sports teams at your university (basketball and golf), has the voice of an angel, and can kick your ass at Super Smash Bros. He's so well-rounded that he hasn't decided what he wants to do with his life yet, but no-one's worried about him because he'll probably end up running NASA (we see that sneaky nerd pattern on your tank, Ken No 12). Ken No. 12 can even dress like he's an extra in High School Musical, but in spite of his Wildcats inspired khaki shorts, you're still convinced that he's the best looking Ken here. Because he's That Guy.
Ken No. 13: "The Boy Next Door" Ken
From his checkered colored shirt to his khaki shorts, all the way down to his little plastic Sperrys, Ken No. 13 is an All-American frat boy with a heart of, well, maybe not gold, but at least silver. He's the boy next door, mowing the front lawn shirtless and attending church with his parents every Sunday. You had a crush on him when you were younger, and you're not ashamed of it. He might play too much bocce ball, and he may have spent two years in college trying to convince himself that beer actually tastes good, but Ken No. 13 will forever be your first crush, and you're sure he'll get paid well as an accountant and settle in the suburbs with 2.5 kids.
Ken No. 14: "Deja Vu" Ken, or, "90s Soft Drink" Ken
You might be asking yourself "Haven't I already seen this Ken? Like, this Ken is the same one in a different outfit, right? He literally was the one right above this one."WRONG.This is Ken No. 14, who definitely has different eyebrows than Ken No. 13, so we're pretty sure he's supposed to count as his own doll design. Ken No. 14 has lead a thoroughly average life. He's a business major but not an entrepreneur. He doesn't party too hard, but he doesn't really come to class either. He constantly quotes old 90s television shows and watches reruns of Catdog on Sunday mornings that he's pre-recorded. He's afraid of parallel parking.He's basically what you'd get if Sprite were a person.
And Finally, Meet Ken No. 15: "Aspiring Actor Living in an Apartment With Four Friends" Ken!
To finish things off, we'd like to introduce you to Ken No. 15, who's been living in L.A. for the last two years after getting his degree in fine arts from a small, private college. You can tell because he's unafraid to wear a pink tank, and his shoes match his shorts. Ken No. 15 desperately wants to be an actor, but he's aiming for an aloof, Daniel Craig kind of image, so you can't see how fervently hopeful he is underneath that hair gel. His inspirations are Keanu Reeves, Nicholas Caige, and James Dean. Ken No. 15 spends most of his time drinking cold brew, interviewing for small speaking rolls in t.v. crime shows while he waits for his big break, and contemplating whether or not he should get a nose job. But he doesn't want to look too plastic, so probably not.What do you think of these Barbie World studs? We're super happy that Mattel is taking diversity seriously and representing more body types and skin tones. Which Next Gen Ken's your new favorite? Let us know in the comments below, and don't forget to share this list with your friends!
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