(CBS) — Barbie’s boyfriend Ken is getting a 2017 makeover, with the unveiling of a diverse new range of dolls.
Mattel’s Barbie brand announced 15 new Ken dolls, Tuesday June 20th, with a variety of skin tones, eye colors and body shapes.
The original Ken doll made his appearance in 1961, in a commercial that introduced the him to Barbie at a dance.
Barbie’s new-look companion comes in three body types – adding a slim and a broad Ken to the original version – seven skin tones, nine face shapes and eight hair shades. His new hair comes in nine styles, from quiff to corn rows, short back and sides to man bun. He can step out with Barbie in a wardrobe that ranges from smart casual work looks to shorts and t-shirts.
New Barbies were introduced in 2016, to bring tall, curvy and petite dolls in a range of skin tones into children’s playrooms. The latest line also adds 24 additional diverse dolls to the Barbie Fashionistas line, which has grown by more than 100 diverse looks in the last three years.
Senior Design Director of Barbie, Robert Best, said, “We’re seeing a real shift towards inclusivity and there’s a need both in popular culture, like again, fashion or media, to see representation of everybody, so it’s not isolating people for being different, but it’s really just celebrating all types. So I think this idea that there’s just one standard is no longer the norm and we’ve kind of adjusted Barbie in that way, not just in terms of like the body, but you’ve seen hair color differences, hair texture differences, different skin colors, different eye shapes, all of these little incremental changes add up to more variety than ever and I think Ken is now sort of getting the same treatment and following that same evolution.”