Ken’s Big Five-O

Ken Carson is five decades old, the big five ‘O has come his way; but who’d have thought he’d last this long?
Okay, so the gentleman I’m referring to is Barbie’s boyfriend.
Introduced by Matell in 1961, and two years younger than his famous girlfriend, Ken was originally introduced with a boy next door image and wardrobe to match. Over the years, the world famous male doll has been on a voyage of discovery, reinventing himself more times than Madonna.
Towards the end of the sixties he’d developed bending legs and even learned to speak. In the early seventies he became a beach bum when he emerged as Malibu Ken, before growing his hair to be a hip and trendy 1975 hippy, returning again to the beach at the end of the decade, as Hawaii Ken.
Ken’s wardrobe choices in the eighties are probably best forgotten, those silver lame jumpsuits and pink bowtie, possibly had other dolls in the toy-box questioning Mr Carson’s sexuality.
He went all butch for the nineties, mainly wearing denim with checked shirts, when he was introduced as, – and I kid you not – Camp Fun Ken, before morphing into sporty Ken complete with snowboard and skis.
As the new millennium opened, Ken’s popularity began to wane, with him coming out as a ballet dancer in Nutcracker Ken; not his cleverest of costumes. Later he returned once again to the beach, this time in a tie in with NBC television, he became Baywatch Ken.
So as he’s now in his fiftieth year, what can we expect from America’s perpetual boyfriend, a tank top and spectacles, as we meet Facebook Ken?

© Barry Lillie

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