Keeping up with Ken

Happy Birthday to none other than Barbie’s boyfriend Ken. I have always have always been a bit intrigued by Ken who, according to has the full name Ken Carson. Ken’s official birthday is  11 March 1961, making him two years younger than Barbie. Some other important Ken facts… Ken is 12 inches tall (half an inch taller than Barbie) and hails from the fictional town of Willows, Wisconsin. In 1961, two versions of Ken were launched with “molded” plastic hair. One was blond and the other one brunette. It was not until 1973, that Ken debuted a new rooted hairstyle.

Who knew that Ken has a younger brother, Tommy and that his best friend is Alan, the husband of Midge? Or that Ken met Barbie on the set of their first television commercial together in 1961? Like me you were probably devastated when Barbie and Ken broke up on Valentine’s Day in 2004 after 43 years together, allegedly because Barbie was interested in the Australian surfer Blaine. Ken received a makeover by celebrity stylist Phillip Bloch in 2006 and made his screen debut involving some 50 costume changes in Toy Story 3. No wonder Ken and Barbie got back together on Valentine’s Day, 2011 and are still an item.

The biggest move in the world of Barbie is of course the release early this year of three new Barbie Body shapes to more accurately represent the female form to impressionable youngsters. Barbie now comes in many shapes, sizes and skin tones.  But here’s the thing, Ken has had an unofficial makeunder with a more realistic body shape too. The Guardian reported on 11 March (yes…on Ken’s birthday) that  Artist Nickolay Lamm is making a doll, called Boy Lammily to highlight male body issues. The Guardian further reports he proportioned Lammily “according to average proportions and BMI” for a 19-year-old man, and his physical appearance is “typical but not muscular.” With body image an ongoing concern for men, the importance of Boy Lammily cannot be understated.

The mass production of Boy Lammily is being crowd funded. The effort has so far raised $35 327 for the $70 000 sought. There’s still time to help crowd fund Boy Lammily if you want to.

The Daily Wrap Ken – who looks eerliy like Justin Beiber –  is from the recently released Fashionista range. He’s wearing the number 3 style titled “Dashing Denim”.  Ken is carrying a gift wrapped in strong blue dots and of course a red ribbon. We all know that red is Ken’s favourite colour because when he first appeared on this day 55 years ago he was wearing red swim trunks, sported cork sandals and carried a yellow towel. I do seriously like the blue dots with the strong red ribbon and I think Barbie will too.



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