Tag Archives: Mattel

Equal time for the man

Who knew, as we fêted Barbie on her 52nd birthday, that Ken’s 50th was the same day? Poor guy, always in the shadow of the diva.

In 1961, when Mattel decided that Barbie should not be alone and needed a companion, it created Ken.

Ken, you've come a long way, Baby.

I learned that Ken turned 50 when I opened Sunday’s Parade magazine, which arrives at my house on Saturday. So watch for it tomorrow and open it to Page 5, where you’ll see half a dozen Ken hair styles from the early sixties, when his hair was painted on, to the modern metrosexual do of 2010. For a sneak preview, visit Parade for a click down Memory Lane.

It should come as no surprise that, just as Barbie has eluded the texture of middle age, so has her younger man. While his coif and togs have changed with the times, he’s still as smooth as ever. Would that we all be composed of soft vinyl rather than mottled human flesh. In 50 years, Ken sprouted nary a hair from the neck down and remains as hairless as ever, even on his back and the insides of his ears and nose.

The end of the brief article asks, “Who knows what the next 50 years will bring?”

Anyone?

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Lookin’ good, sister

On March 9, 1959, the first Barbie doll was introduced, which makes the ol’ gal 52. I too was launched in 1959, later in the year, which makes us the same age.

Over the decades, Barbie’s clothing, hairstyles, accessories and cars have been updated with the times. The only thing about Barbie that hasn’t been updated is, well, Barbie. Granted, Barbie’s waist has been widened in more recent versions of the doll, but that’s about her only visible sign of middle age.

Barbie Turns 52

But for a modest abdominal spread, she’s still the same taut little thing she was 52 years ago. One might say she’s Mattel’s very own Dorian Gray.

If we’re the same age, where are her spider veins, bunions and silver roots? She’s obviously taken good care of herself, but she’s only human. Hasn’t she had kids? She might do more Jazzercise than the average doll, but still, where are the ripples around her c-section scar, or are they hidden under her little Barbie Spanx?

Isn’t it about time Mattel introduced Quinquagenarian Barbie, wearing tiny progressive lenses,  just to give today’s little girls a realistic image of life as it happens? With modern technology, I bet they could tint her face with a bright red glow that flashes on and off throughout the day. Battery-operated fan not included.

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