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What the new Ken dolls would say if you met them on Tinder


Just like there was once only one Barbie, there was once only one Ken. For years, Mattel’s main man-doll was exclusively blonde, blue-eyed and tanned, with a muscled physique and the sort of blandly handsome face you’d struggle to remember if he ran you over with a bus.

But in today’s inclusive, body-positive age, one version of Barbie’s boyfriend is not enough. Following the launch of diverse female dolls in 2015, Mattel has just unveiled a line of new Kens in a range of body types and skin tones – as well as startlingly ‘hip’ wardrobes and hairstyles. (Five words: mirrored shades and man buns.)

To be fair to Mattel, they’ve done a decent job of recreating various ‘types’ of modern men in tiny plastic form. There’s something eerily familiar about many of the new Kens, as though you might conceivably have met them – or someone very like them – at a party, or in a bar, or at work. Or, because this is 2017, as if you might have swiped past them on a dating app.

With this in mind, we decided to imagine how some of the shiny new dolls might conduct themselves in the murky waters of online dating. Why not count along, and see how many Kens you’ve already collected in real life?

Ken 1


Dating apps of choice: Tinder, Bumble, OKCupid, Happn and Match.com, although they all make him feel a bit sad and he dreams of just meeting a nice woman IRL one day

Profile picture: Him standing in someone’s conservatory, holding a Labradoodle puppy and beaming at the camera

Bio: “Just a regular small town guy now having a blast in the big city and looking to meet a nice girl to have fun with :) Say hey, I don’t bite! :)”

Pick-up line: “Hey!! :) How are you?”

Where you’ll go for your first date: Pizza Express

Why it will end: You’ll phase him out after he starts texting you relentlessly, using too many exclamation marks and emojis. You feel incredibly guilty, while simultaneously not regretting a thing.

Ken 2


Dating apps of choice: Tinder, Happn

Profile picture: A ‘candid’ shot of him sipping an Aperol spritz in an expensive-looking bar. He’s wearing a white shirt; light bounces off the oil in his man bun. The picture has been run through the Lo-Fi filter one too many times

Bio: “Love travelling, working out and whisky. Work in finance but don’t let that put you off”

Pick-up line: “Hey, you have beautiful eyes lol”

Where you’ll go for your first date: A ludicrously expensive restaurant for a meal that he insists on paying for, in a slightly aggressive manner

Why it will end: He starts harassing you to send him nudes after the third date.

Ken 3


Dating apps of choice: Tinder, Bumble, Tastebuds.fm

Profile picture: A photo of a Polaroid of him sitting on a bench in an autumnal park, squinting up at the camera as he mock-awkwardly runs a hand through his hair

Bio: “I like Sufjan Stevens, Kendrick Lamar, the novels of Ernest Hemingway and bagels.”

Pick-up line: “I see you like [insert cultural reference somehow gleaned from your profile here]. Good taste”

Where you’ll go for your first date: An East London bar where one of his favourite bands just happens to be playing

How it will end: During a debate about whether Beyoncé should have won the Grammy over Beck, he utters the immortal line: “OK, but let’s just take race and gender out of the equation for a second...” When you call him out he insists that you know that wasn’t what he actually meant, despite that being what he actually said.

Ken 4


Dating apps of choice: Tinder, Happn

Profile picture: Him in this exact outfit, doing gun fingers in a tent at Creamfields

Bio: “Do you slide on all your nights like this?” You google this quote and discover that it’s a Calvin Harris lyric

Pick-up line: “You look like you know how to have a good time lol 😈”

Where you’ll go for your first date: An incredibly noisy branch of All Bar One during happy hour

Why it will end: He’ll get snarky when you fail to be sufficiently impressed by his story about the time he did loads of pills and met deadmau5. Neither of you will contact one another after the first date.

Ken 5


Dating apps of choice: Tinder, Bumble, Hinge

Profile picture: Him with his arm around a beaming old lady. Possibly his grandma?

Bio: “Family, basketball, God, good times”

Pick-up line: “Hey, [insert name here]. How’s it going?”

Where you’ll go for your first date: A picnic in the park.

Why it will end: He is so nice, and so thoughtful. He’s also so handsome that talking to him leaves you feeling a bit confused, as though you’ve spent too long looking at a Magic Eye poster. But he’s so wholesome – so sporty, so family-orientated, so bloody lovely – that you feel like a cynical old troll in comparison. A year after you break it off, he gets married to a woman he met at church.

Ken 6


Dating apps of choice: Tinder, Happn

Profile picture: Him lying on the floor next to a tranquilised tiger in Thailand

Bio: “Here for a good time not a long time. Hate girls who don’t talk first 😡”

Pick-up line: “Yo yo yo”

Where you’ll go for your first date: You never go for a first date, because when you don’t reply within half an hour he bombards you with messages saying that you’re a fat, ugly bitch and he didn’t want to talk to you anyway

How it will end: See above.

Ken 7


Dating apps of choice: Tinder, Bumble, Hinge

Profile picture: Him in quite a nice suit, sitting on a desk in what looks like a secondary school classroom

Bio: “Devoted teacher. Music lover. Major foodie. Proud feminist. Non-smoker. Drink?”

Pick-up line: “Thank god – I was starting to think there were no other normal people on here…”

Where you’ll go for your first date: A ‘little Spanish restaurant he knows’, where the staff all seem to know him by name. He says you’re the first woman he’s brought on a date here. You suspect this is a lie

Why it will end: After five quite nice dates, he sends you a long, condescending text explaining why he’s realised he’s just not in the right place for a relationship, but that you’re an amazing, beautiful, intelligent woman and he just knows you’ll find what you’re looking for soon. You tell him to f*** off.

Images: Mattel


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