Chic-Ken – a poem about body dysmorphia, mental health issues and the pressure placed upon girls at too young an age, to look and act in a specific manner. Mattel who made Barbies had to change their brand and started to make the shapes of dolls look like ‘normal’ everyday folk.

They created a monster in a twin set and pearls,
That blonde 50’s bombshell straight hair, no curls.
A machine of influence, and the world did applaud her,
But this small plastic toy led to eating disorders.  

I mean could we have ever suspected all along,
That Germanic inspired doll could go so wrong,

It was 9 years since that nation had cleared the obsession,

One man had of that perfect creation.  

So, this American icon taught girls to have no fears,
To reach for stars, I mean she’s had 50 careers.

But the cancer of pressure grew year on year,

A slave to her mind, mirrors and body dysmorphia.  

To soften her look from teen lust to aspiration,

They made her a boyfriend, another form of adoration.
Perfect physique, tall, tanned designed by pen,
Ken was tres bon…or in Francais ‘Chic-Ken’.

Chic-Ken could’ve held the torch for all women,
Who didn’t fit into the Barbie medium.
He should’ve used his time wisely and told her to eat,
And she shouldn’t be concerned about being so neat.  

Ken, looked at himself and thought hero, quite groovy,

But his life was far from a teen beach movie.

Action Men stood by helplessly and found it alarming,

That he forgot she was back in the toy box, self-harming.  

But the longer he stayed, the longer she thought,
If she put on weight he would be so distraught.
But Chic-Ken never saw this as tragic,
And failed to notice her slicing off plastic.  

Forced sickness then started, just after each meal,
All done in private, It was no big deal.
So the little weight she had dropped off her small frame,
As Chic-Ken ignored his love was in pain.  

The scars on places that he couldn’t see,
Was a cry from her to say “Please notice me?”
Done with a scalpel to ease the release,
Of pressure that built up from passive abuse.  

Chic-Ken should’ve turned his eyes from his abs,
Towards her and Cindy, who thought they were drab.
And said to them “don’t live your life just for me,
You’re gorgeous and strong and simply lovely…  

Your heart is pure and your eyes they are true,
No man worth his salt would judge size against you
You are amazing size 8, 12 to 20
Just love yourself more and your heart will be plenty.”  

What Barbie should have done is ditch model Ken,

And gone out with Hawkeye, best of all Action-Men.

Imperfect with scars, tattoos, a fine military man,

He would’ve never let her go, with his special grip hands!  

Alas, 57 years had passed for Chic-Ken to see,
His now ex get help with body inclusivity.
So Karma – as they took him off to dissect,
As boys with disorders was less than perfect.  

Mattel’s profits could cope fine with girls having issues,

But our boys must be gods with no tears and no tissues!
So are we ok to ignore the years of abuse,
Towards kids who were damaged by a plastic excuse?

So as a Dad I have a declaration to make!

Your kids don’t need, Snapchat, plastic toys or cake.

Just read to them, draw with them, walk, talk and listen,

As their hearts will grow stronger and their eyes always glisten.    


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