Barbie theory: Ken will be the movie’s villain

Lucy-Jo Finnighan
barbie kens

Barbie is set to explore the concept of girlhood and how it changes as Barbie enters the world of the patriarchy – but one theory suggests that this will also affect Ken.

Wrapped in plastic, she’s fantastic, and her movie is looking like it’s going to be fantastic as well. Barbie, the upcoming film by Greta Gerwig, is looking to be one of the most highly anticipated movies of the year.

Barbie films have always been well-loved, and there’s a lot of hype surrounding this movie, but also a lot of mystery. Therefore, each new piece of information that comes out about Barbie is always getting dissected.

However, one theory has now popped up about the plot – and it involves Ken. Turns out he’s not “Just Ken,” he’s also set to be a villain.

Ken may bring “toxic masculinity back to Barbieland”

YouTuber and Twitter user ModernGurlz recently took to their page to announce a theory for Barbie, and it’s become a topic of discussion.

As stated in the tweet: “Ken is DEFINITELY going to be a villain in Barbie. I’d bet that after going to the “real world” he learns misogyny & brings toxic masculinity back to Barbieland where he proceeds to become a dictator eventually resulting in the barbie’s teaming up to stop him.”

Now, while Ken may seem harmless in most of the movie’s promo, this theory has weight. In the images in the tweet above, we see Ken wearing the same clothes one would expect a bad guy in a campy kid’s film to wear, which hints at his villainous intentions.

Also, as seen at the end of the trailer below, Ken believes that only men know about medical issues in the real world, despite only Barbies being doctors back in Barbieland.

Greta Gerwig revealed to Vogue that Barbie is partially inspired by the way society can strip girls of self-actualisation: “They’re funny and brash and confident, and then they just – stop,” Gerwig explains. Part of the writing process was thinking “How is [Barbie’s] journey the same thing that a teenage girl feels? All of a sudden, she thinks, ‘Oh, I’m not good enough.'”

Ken’s turn would fit this vibe, as when girls are younger and playing with Ken dolls, they are unlikely yet to fully understand just how sexist men can be to them. Similarly, as young girls grow up with the patriarchy stripping them of confidence, the patriarchy can take a grip on young boys, teaching them to look down on or even resent the women around them.

And while Ken’s song (watch below) is very fun, these themes can easily be spotted in the lyrics and imagery:

Now, we doubt that Ken will become a big villainous mastermind. Likely that Ken will simply be a victim of thuggish ignorance, and hopefully he’ll snap out of it by the movie’s end.

There’s also been another couple of theories across Twitter, including one about a potential romance between Barbie and America Ferrera’s character. Which, if Ken goes down the villain route, is perhaps seeming more and more likely.

Barbie will strut into cinemas on July 21, 2023. For more information on the movie, click here.

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