Why Can’t Ken Just Come Out of the Closet Already?

Posted by Michael Pinto on Jan 19, 2010 in Hobbies and Collections |

Barbie Harley-Davidson Barbie and Ken Dolls Gift Set

The original Ken dollDear Mattel it’s the year 2010 and every little girl in America has known for generations that Ken is gay: So why do you continue to keep him in the closet? As we can see with the Barbie Harley-Davidson Barbie and Ken Dolls Gift Set poor Ken is cast playing a role that he clearly isn’t. Ken is obviously suppose to have that dangerous Harley biker look, but instead he comes off looking like George Michael after the break up of Wham! in the 80s.


Above: Was Bruno the inspiration for Harley Ken?

By nature Ken is a clean cut type of guy who enjoys getting a good pedicure with Barbie and her friends — which is the exact opposite of the Harley brand. Even Ken’s slimfast physique seems out of place here, because every Harley guy that you ever see comes in two shapes: The Hulk or the paunch from hell.

Paul Teutul, Sr. from American Chopper

Above: Paul Teutul, Sr. from American Chopper isn’t pretty, but that’s not the point of the biker guy archetype.

And then Ken’s blow-dried artificially dyed blond hair just seems so wrong because Harley guys are infamous for every variation of facial hair and being opposed to shampoo as if it were their mortal enemy. Plus making matters worse that tribal tattoo on his arm which looks like one of those temporary things you’d find in a cheap vending machine at the mall. The sad result is a pathetic “born to be mild” moment in collectible history.

Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

Above: Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! should have been the style inspiration for Harley Barbie.

It’s almost like Mattel is humiliating poor Ken so that Barbie doesn’t have to lower herself to being a proper biker babe. Is it such a sin to allow Barbie to have the tattoo? There’s a time honored tradition of lady bikers that goes back to Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! So why not pay homage to that genre and allow Barbie just for once to get dirt under her fingernails.

Pinky Tuscadero

Above: Pinky Tuscadero had enough style to intimidate Fonzie.

Leather Tuscadero, the sister of Pinky!

Leather Tuscadero, the sister of Pinky!

Now obviously this collectible isn’t aimed at little girls to play with — it’s for little girls who grew up to marry biker dudes. So with that in mind Mattel could have looked back in time at the well loved character of Pinky Tuscadero from Happy Days in the 70s. Every girl back then loved Pinky — she had a love interest in Fonzie but she wasn’t the usual poodleskirt wearing lady that liked to hang out at Arnold’s sipping shakes. Instead Pinky was from the wrong side of the tracks, and even refused to wear her biker helmet.

Pinky was dangerous and that’s what the girls liked about her, so Mattel should have looked into the hearts of their audience to understand this. And like Fonzie Mattel shouldn’t force Ken to be “Mr. Pinky Tuscadero” instead they should let Barbie go on the wild side to embrace the rebel qualities of the Harley brand.


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