The highly-anticipated Barbie movie, helmed by Greta Gerwig, is still an entire year—and at least five coronavirus variants—from hitting theaters, and yet, it feels as if new and titillating details emerge as often as Mattel rolls out new editions of the iconic and improbably-proportioned doll. In this week’s edition, Ryan Gosling, who portrays Ken, has revealed that life in plastic is, in fact, not all that fantastic for the Ken of Gerwig’s conception.
“Ken’s got no money, he’s got no job, he’s got no car, he’s got no house. He’s going through some stuff,” Gosling told Entertainment Tonight in an interview while on a press tour for The Gray Man. When pressed for further plot details, Gosling deferred to his onscreen counterpart, as his cucked character most certainly would.
“Whatever Barbie says is exactly right,” he asserted. “It’s not what you think it is, unless it is. And then you know what it is, but I don’t think that’s what you think it is. Wait, what are we talking about?”
Gosling then quipped that Mattel would come and “box him up” should he disclose any further details. A method actor, indeed!
A faction of the terminally online were surprised in response to the news, with reactions ranging from: “So ur telling me Barbie is dating a bum? The girls will never be free,” to “omg he’s literally me.” But many, including a certain 28-year-old woman from Toledo, Ohio (me), who played with Barbies well into her early teens, have long known Ken was born to be a scrub, destined for a lifetime of gainful unemployment and hanging his unbending limbs out the passenger’s side of his girlfriend’s ride.
In fact, Ken aka Kenneth Carson, wasn’t even created until two years after Barbie, likely when the suits at ‘60s-era Mattel remembered she should have some heteronormative desires to satisfy—because god forbid some little girls in the midwest subject her to scissoring with anyone but a barely-anatomical male! Can you imagine?
Sure, he’s done some needful exploration—Earring Magic Ken, Sugar’s Daddy Ken, etc.—but he’s also held over 40 jobs, and according to Barbie mythos, hails from Willows, Wisconsin (population 493) and met his future
cash dispensary partner on the set of a commercial shoot. What Ken’s capacity on said shoot was, exactly? For all we know, he could’ve been craft services. The fact that Gosling’s Ken is literally just any other broke guy in the country right now is...pretty damn accurate.
And personally, I’d like a word with Ms. Gerwig, because the plot lines of my Barbie-playing adolescence (and early-teenagedom) sound remarkably similar to this film’s. The Ken of my own production was, quite simply, just some dude on the couch waiting for Barbie—a part-time journalist and full-time party-girl, obviously—when she whipped her Thunderbird back up to the Dream House from her latest far-flung trip. Sure, she might’ve mashed faces together with Kayla on the beach after one too many Mai Tais, but she worked hard, and he loved her for who she was! Plus, where else was he going to go? Midge’s? Yeah, right.
Now, I don’t know if Gerwig has quite made me a victim of intellectual property theft—perhaps we’ll be treated to another morsel of information next week. But one thing is for certain: She’s subscribed to the same school of thought many of us who overstayed their welcome in the Barbie universe did. The correct one. After all, Barbie’s catchphrase was, “You can be anything!” No problem! we said. She’ll be everything, and if anyone cared to ask, Ken’s himbo ass was just fine with that.