On Tuesday, Mattel, the maker of Barbie, launched a 15-model update of its most popular doll’s besotted lover, Ken, with a spectrum of new skin tones and body types. Within the new line, dubbed the ‘Fashionistas’ series, came what should be a mother’s worst nightmare: New Ken comes with a man bun.
Yeah, Doll 13 Distressed Denim-Broad, which, along with distressed jean shorts and an Urban Outfitters–looking short-sleeve button-up, sports a plastic bun hairstyle, bringing him hurdling into the present while somehow falling painfully short, smiling his saccharine smile like that top knot isn’t slowly and devastatingly ruining his hairline.
We’re all for a diverse line of Kens following up on a diverse line of Barbies. And Mattel making them is a great step forward for inclusivity and giving children who weren’t born with blond hair and blue eyes a toy that looks like them. But we’ll continue to back anyone who wishes to discriminate against the man bun. If not for our own aesthetic sensibilities, then for the future of our children’s scalps.