I can only pray that Genuine Ken: The Search for the Great American Boyfriend, Mattel’s new reality web series, is as terrible as exploitative as The Bachelor Pad. By which I mean: as awesome.
In a grand cross-platform marketing plan, the toy maker is launching its dating series search as a way to … um, I’m not sure exactly. Convince twenty- and thirty-something men they should be playing with Barbie toys? The series is “an online competition reality show unlike any other,” we’re told. “For eight drama packed episodes, eight eligible men will duke it out in challenge after challenge to be named the ultimate boyfriend – ‘A Genuine Ken’ (What a Doll!). They’ll be evaluated on date-ability, personal style, personality, general hotness, and overall KEN-ability.”
There are a ton of profiles live on GenuineKen.com, where you can vote HotOrNot-style on whether these dudes are “Ken-tastic,” though I have no idea what criteria people are using because the hottest and most well-rounded guys are receiving terrible scores.
By next month, Mattel and producers will select their eight finalists, who will then compete, somehow, for a chance to visit Malibu and NYC and, I’m assuming, score a date with Barbie.
Or another Ken doll?
From what I can tell there’s nothing in the contest’s Terms Of Service that prohibit the gays from playing. The only restrictive eligibility requirement pertains to age: You’ve gotta be 18-30. And willing to be used by a billion-dollar toy maker to push merch.
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