Barbie FYK53 Bathroom-Themed Playset, with Shaving Ken Doll and Sink/Vanity, Multicolored

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Barbie FYK53 Bathroom-Themed Playset, with Shaving Ken Doll and Sink/Vanity, Multicolored

Barbie FYK53 Bathroom-Themed Playset, with Shaving Ken Doll and Sink/Vanity, Multicolored

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I should also say that the postwar period is one of great ambivalence of gender roles for American Jews. This is the period where the development of the idea of the Jewish American Princess comes up, of the American Jewish man as being like nerdy and whiny compared to the strong Israeli. Like Totally Hair Ken, Cool Shavin' Ken (looking rather like George Michael) is very concerned with his appearance. In this episode of the new Smithsonian magazine podcast, “There’s More to That,” journalist Emily Tamkin, who wrote a cultural history of Barbie for our June 2023 issue, turns to Ken, Barbie’s perennial plus-one. With Ken’s existential crisis getting a surprising amount of screen time in Greta Gerwig’s runaway hit film Barbie , we look at various attempts to make Ken more than just a plastic hairstyle over the decades. Tamkin, who has written extensively about Jewish identity in America, also considers what Barbie creator Ruth Handler’s famous offspring might tell us about the American dream. Tamkin: It's exactly as you're saying. It's the ’80s. It's this moment of, like, the businesswoman, like, working. Klimek: Yeah. I mean, are you willing to share a little more about that, the lore that you and your sister invented?

Klimek: From Smithsonian magazine and PRX Productions, welcome to “There's More to That," a podcast where journalists around the world bring you history, science and culture through the lens of Smithsonian magazine. Today, we turn our attention to the Ken doll … Someone should do it!Plenty of famous actresses or classic characters have been immortalized by the Barbie brand by creating their very own doll and Lucille Ball of I Love Lucy! fame was not immune to this treatment. I think in part this is meant to sell different outfits, which was another part of Ruth Handler's genius, really, was that you can buy one doll and then have all of these different outfits that you need to buy for her. You'll need to buy Barbie's park-walk outfit or Barbie's bridal gown. Tamkin: So, Ken did great in asking Barbie out at that dance. We can hear both strains or threads of what we've been discussing in that ad. She's a teen fashion model at a dance. Tamkin: OK, so we should note that even in this ad where you're making Ken shave, the ad shows two little girls playing with the Ken. Before Michael Cera took the role as adorable misfit Allan in "Barbie," he wasn't a very well known doll. Introduced in 1964, he was simply Ken's best friend and could fit into his clothes.

I've got a shaving gear. Wet the play razor, and you can take off Ken's beard and mustache. Then put it on again with this beard marker. Better fix your hair. OK! Nice beard, Ken. It’s Ken and Beauty Secrets Barbie. Sport and Shave Ken Doll with two play razors and a beard marker. Beauty Secrets Barbie Doll is sold separately. New from Mattel. Chris Klimek, host: When writer Emily Tamkin was little, she created a whole imagined life for her Barbie and Ken dolls. Ken is dressed in an elegant but boxy-cut suit with shoulder pads and a purple corsage and is ready to take Barbie out for a night on the town. 16. Cool Shavin' KenMerman Ken makes an appearance in the "Barbie" movie via John Cena, and while he's a relatively new doll, that doesn't mean he's any less collectible. Klimek: This is a thing that you write about in a really nuanced way in your piece about how the Handlers were a Jewish family and how even for the creators of Barbie the aesthetic of Barbie was kind of a fraught subject. Most famously, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster creating Superman in the ’30s. And they create this invulnerable, you know, fantasy man, kind of in the same way that Barbie is this impossible physical ideal a generation later. Ein Beitrag geteilt von Mandy G (@my.dreams.are.pink) am Apr 18, 2018 um 4:34 PDT Ken got real hair If Barbie was presented to girls as an aspirational ideal of womanhood, what does that say about Ken? Greta Gerwig’s new film Barbie opens in a pink plastic utopia called Barbieland. But everything changes when Barbie–played by Margot Robbie–has an existential crisis. And Ken, played by Ryan Gosling, learns about something called “the patriarchy.”

Emily Tamkin, Smithsonian magazine contributor: We sent these Barbies to college. They had different careers. Tamkin: OK, what I want listeners to know is that having just watched that ad, Barbie looks great, and early Ken was looking kind of rough. The plastic hair and … And I think they gave an interview, the various people involved in this movie, where they basically said, like, “He only exists when she looks at him.” You know what I mean? Like, Ken is only relevant insofar as he has Barbie's attention, or insofar as he's connected to her. So I think that they're really playing up that dynamic. They took extended family trips together. They had the trailer that we would load the Barbies up into for road trips.This specific I Love Lucy! Barbie doll was modeled after how Lucy looked in the classic "Sales Resistance" episode of the show. In an interview with Jimmy Fallon last summer, Ryan Gosling talked about what it was like for him when the world found out he was playing Ken. Mattel's official line was that this was an attempt to modernize Ken based on the results of a survey that was conducted among their customers. This special edition bridal Barbie doll featuring an incredible gown from fashion designer Monique Lhuillier has become very expensive despite the fact it has been on the market for only 12 years. Tamkin: Yeah. And I'm not trying to say that Ruth Handler was consciously going through all of this, but I do think it's important that it comes out of this certain point in American history.

And so I guess this is what I'm saying, is it didn't matter to us if Mattel said, “Oh, Barbie and Ken are together or not” or like, “Oh, Ken's from Wisconsin.” Cause my Ken could have been from New Jersey and married a woman from Michigan. Actually, I did have one Barbie go to the University of Michigan.Klimek: I noticed that too. Yeah, olive-skinned. Boy, that poor man is just not going to have any skin left on his face.



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