Let's talk about Ken! Kenneth Carson, Barbie's eternal boyfriend. When Barbie came out, it seems that Mattel did not have in mind to release a male version, but in the toy market the children are in charge and at that time girls began to ask for a boyfriend for their doll. Despite the misgivings, the public was listened to and they got down to work but they had a delicate issue between their hands, or rather between the legs ... they didn't know how to fix Ken's crotch and for this they made three models, one with explicit genitalia that was immediately discarded, another with nothing at all and another with a certain hint of a bugle that as we all know is the one they decided to do.
The fact is that the men at Mattel did not feel very comfortable with the subject and proposed to paint him a kind of slips but Charlotte Johnson, who was always a very listened person in the house, said that girls would scratch the paint until they could see what was hidden behind.
Very interesting was the creation of Ken's first wardrobe for which Fumiko Miyatsuka, who was Charlotte Johnson's assistant in Japan and who was left in charge of the production of Barbie clothes there, had to learn with a tailor from the Ginza district and, although she didn't see much use for it then, it was a great help when she had to remake the first model that was sent to her from the USA because it was too loose and therefore unattractive.
Ken's body became more muscular over the years and left behind his image of a 50s Beach Boys in favor of a mod image more of the 60s Beach Boys in the middle of the British Invasion. Later became a blonde surfer with the Malibu line but her famous crotch remained the same until the Superstar Barbie line in the late 70s when a new body with bent arms and sculpted briefs arrived to share the scene with the classic one until practically the end of the millennium.
And "in his boxers" Ken skied, went to costume parties, dated Barbie and rode by his ranch until Mattel announced that Barbie had a new boyfriend with blonde highlights and a surfboard under his arm, Blaine. It seems that the thing was just a fling but perhaps by then it was too late for Ken.
Today in the Barbie line we can find several types of body, both male and female, but Ken has become all of them and none at all in favor of more diversity, which is very positive, but with less Ken essence. Who knows what the future will bring...
by The Barbiest