My name is Arnold Feeler, and I was a designer for the major toymaker that designs and markets the new so-called ‘Man-Bun’ Ken Doll. I worked for them for 45 years.
For years, I was quite happy at my job. I designed all the great Barbie dolls for the better part of the last half-century. Princess Dianna Barbie, Kitty Dukakis Barbie, the Madonna Barbie and even the controversial “Let’s Be Friends” Barbie, were all mine. I designed all of the popular Ken dolls; Fonzi Ken, Punker Ken, Grenada Invasion Ken, Couch-Potato Ken, even the very rare and quite collectible Gangnam-Style Ken. However, three months ago my employer went too far.
The ad agency that handles our account came up with the original idea for the Man-Bun doll. I thought they were joking and resisted doing the initial drawings. After they sent a memo that said: “Feeler, do the freaking bun or your ass is fired,” I decided to do the drawings thinking that there was no way the marketing team would see any upside to it, and that they would eventually shelve the project. I mean, they’ve shelved so many Ken designs in the past: Sober Ken, Prostate-Awareness Ken, and even Scary-Clown Ken got the heave-ho. I thought those were decent designs too.
About two months ago I was quite surprised to find out that ‘the Bun’ was going into production. I quickly called my superior, Ms. Vicki Soudburg and asked for a meeting. I begged her to reconsider. I even offered to design a removable-bun that the kids could take off of the doll. No go. She was adamant that the original bun be firmly attached and told me that it’s “high time that Ken represent a less toxic American male.”
I was angry, and told her that in my long and distinguished tenure with the company I had never seen such an abomination of our proud brand. I told her that if she didn’t relent, I would remove my name from the project. She responded with, “Feeler… your stupid name has never been on the f*cking project, but since you feel that way, your name is now off the f*cking payroll.”
I went to MSNBC, CBS, ABC and even the NY Times and offered my sad story. None of them returned my call. Fox & Friends has since booked me on one of their ‘Summer Concert/Podcast After The Show’ segments, where I will be showing off some of my more manly collection of decent Ken dolls. I was supposed to appear last week but was bumped by the story about the Fidget Spinner inserted in some lady’s rectum.
At the age of 70, I don’t think too many people are going to hire me, so to make ends meet I may be selling off all of my collection of rare dolls, and even some of my rare one-off prototypes. You can find me and my auctions on eBay, under the name Doll_Feeler_1947.