If the Barbie movie press tour has taught us anything, it’s to ignore Ken at all costs. The character, whose main iteration is played by the wildly Kenergetic Ryan Gosling, has been described as living an utterly purposeless existence devoid of house, car, body hair, and meaning. In the words of Ken’s self-designated spokesman (Gosling), his job is “just beach” — not landlording, not hotel management, not interior design. So what the hell is he doing on an Airbnb listing for Barbie’s Dreamhouse?
The rental, a real-life beachside property in Malibu that will be available for two one-night stays in July, is advertised as “Barbie’s Malibu DreamHouse — Ken’s Way!” and decorated as such: a rodeo hat here, a “Dude Rock” vinyl record there. Equipped with an outdoor roller-disco rink, that trendy wave mirror, and a fake poolside fireplace, this house has everything — except, it seems, Barbie herself. Instead, Ken appears to have staged an impromptu takeover of his girlfriend’s home, sneaking cowboy-themed accoutrements and workout gear into every nook and cranny.
The overall vibe strongly suggests that Ken is secretly renting out the Dreamhouse while Barbie is off doing press for her biopic. I can’t stop picturing him waving good-bye as her pink convertible pulls out of the driveway, then bolting back inside to slap a pair of longhorns on the bar and unfurl his extensive collection of cowhide rugs across her already carpeted floors. How many pool chairs did he stick in storage to make room for his gargantuan tub of “Beefy Body Brine”? Does he really think Barbie would let him bring his plastic horse into her bedroom and — gasp — put her favorite boa around its neck? He even scribbled his name over hers à la Logan Roy’s illegible last will and testament. The gall!
Despite Ken’s clear attempt to project authority — he has arranged the pool floats to spell his name as if to say, “I promise, I’m in charge of this house!” — I simply cannot buy it. Barbie wouldn’t let Ken spend the night at her house. I’d be shocked if she even gave him the keys. The Ken I know wouldn’t bring a stitch of denim into Barbie’s house without her permission. This isn’t our bronzed himbo sidekick. This is the Barbie marketing machine run amok.