The Battle Over the Ken Doll's Bulge

Ruth Handler designed an adult fashion doll for little girls to play with. Her name was Barbie, and she hit the market in 1959. The Barbie doll became a hit, and soon Handler decided she should have a boyfriend. Mattel went to work on a doll named Ken, after Handler’s son. But there was a problem. The dolls were meant to be dressed and undressed, because they were fashion dolls. Barbie appeared anatomically correct (if unrealistic) for an adult woman. What would Ken look like undressed?

No one wanted to give Ken realistic genitalia, but Handler wanted him to have a “bulge” in his pelvis. The male executives at Mattel were horrified and resisted the idea. The doll would not be anatomically correct without one, and it would look unrealistic even with clothing on. But how big would such a bulge be? Would a bulge traumatize little girls, or would the lack of one be worse? After all, little girls have fathers and brothers. And Mattel executives knew that the first thing a child does to a fashion doll is to undress it. Maybe they could paint permanent underwear on Ken. Read about the fight over Ken’s crotch and how he ended up the way he is at Business Insider. -via Digg

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Source: neatorama

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