Valley of the (Ken) Dolls

It’s ain’t easy being me these days. My little plastic phone has been ringing off the hook lately with interview requests because of the Barbie movie.

Being a Big Star takes its toll, even when you have plastic hair. Well … plastic EVERY thing.

Most of you know my story. Kenneth Sean “Ken” Carson, better known as The Ken Doll. “Created” in 1961 and still look like I could get a date to the prom, no prob. Sidekick of the inspirational, wonderful, and fetching Barbie. And yes, since you’re wondering and since I’m asked 847 times a day, in real life she’s exactly as she is in real fake life.

She’s a peach. A pink peach.

Lately, you can’t swing a cat or go by a water cooler without hearing talk of Barbie. Yes, I co-starred. Yes, they paid me a bunch of money. Yes, I wear a “I Am Ken(ough)” T-shirt sometimes — and I wear it well. Told I’m a scene-stealer — DUH! — but of course it’s Barbie, the blue-eyed stunner, who everyone is talking about. She’s the REAL Blonde Bomber. (Take a seat, Terry Bradshaw.)

The movie’s good — so I hear. Haven’t seen it. Don’t like looking at myself on screen. Don’t like people coming in late and talking on their cell phones like they’re in their den. Don’t like paying 35 bucks for popcorn.

Whatever happened to a good ol’ night at the movies?, now upended by the one or two oddballs who act as if they’re sitting on their couch in their underwear, entitled to be as loud and unsettling as they please with no regard to the other people around them who’ve dropped a 20 to enjoy a show in peace and cinematic quiet.

Looo-sers! Ken(ough) has had enough.

BUT, as someone who is actually in the movie, I can report that Barbie is a meaningful and unique piece of art that spends plenty of time poking fun at itself. Barbie and her friends offer up plenty of situations to spark meaningful conversations among modern moviegoers, both Barbies and Kens, and that the “feel” you get is that, while pink is her signature color, Barbie is not above learning that there’s enough pink to go around for everybody.

If you go to enjoy a stylistically modern movie that takes a worldly view of female empowerment and offers a pink convertible-full of nostalgia, you’ll enjoy it. If you go expecting The Ten Commandments or a fiery stance on toxic masculinity, you’ll likely be disappointed.

I’m a Ken wise enough to know already that women retired The Strongest Sex trophy decades ago. Don’t need a movie to tell me that. But who’s asking me, right?

So please, for fun, go see it. (I get a cut of ticket sales, after all.) Enjoy it for you and enjoy it for me. In the unique situation of being All-Kenned-Out, I’ll wait here, and next week I’ll tell you why in The True-Blue Confessions of a Redneck Ken Doll.

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