Why the Ken doll is setting an unrealistic body image for men

I feel as though that men’s body image issues are rarely discussed in today’s society, and that’s not okay. We always discuss women and the body image issues they face, but usually never men. Men are just as susceptible to body image issues as women. However, the differene between the two is the pressure(s) that they experience. Typically, women feel pressure to have a perfect body (size 0-2), hair, skin, and whatnot. Men, however, feel pressure to be muscular and “be manly.”

With these pressures that men face, it’s no wonder they use steroids to bulk up or develop some sort of eating disorder, or resorting to weight loss pills. The side effects of all of these being extremely harmful.

A while back there a photo circling around that captioned “it’s just as hard to be Ken as it is to be Barbie.” In my opinion, this photo sends such a strong, powerful message to both men and women. Women are always often compared to that of a Barbie doll – particularly their body. But no one really ever noticed the correlation between the body image portrayed in the media for men to that of a Ken doll – but it make sense. I mean, Barbie and Ken being the dynamic duo of many children.


Although society has begun to get a tad better with the pressures both genders face, there’s always room for improvement. Which, hey, we all have got to start somewhere. But there are people out there advocating for a change – like Ashley Graham who recently called out beauty pagents for not incorporating plus-size or curvy models. But that’s another post for another time.


Alex Newton is a nursing student and mental health advocate. She grew up in a small town and plans on moving to London, England one day and open up her own health practice. She has a cat named Maya who she adopted whilst going through some difficulties. She’s a daughter, sister, and warrior who enjoys a nice cuppa tea.


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