Is Ken a “Hollow” Man?

Occasionally, I say or write something about a sensitive subject that opens me up to criticism and comments from those who do not agree with me. One instance was after my 2019 post, Accountable to Act like Men about a controversial commercial by Gillette. Another came from Balancing Our Masculine and Feminine Sides. I also stated that your wife should NOT be your best friend in an interview on the Men in the Arena podcast. But as they say, if you don’t want to be criticized, don’t do (or say) anything! However, that approach is passive, which is what I believe ails many guys today. So since passivity is not in my make-up (pun intended!), I’ll stick my neck out once again.

Among the films on the recent Academy Award nominations is the year’s biggest-grossing movie, “Barbie.” Many people were upset that the Academy snubbed Greta Gerwig for Best Director and the film’s star, Margot Robbie, for Best Actress. Some felt the irony of the film, which smartly critiques sexism in the culture, actually suggests that sexism is still very real. Ken is a male doll who lives in Barbieland where men appear to be accessories due to the matriarchy (defined as a system of society or government ruled by a woman or women; the opposite of patriarchy). Critics like Ben Shapiro called the film “feminist garbage” that pushes the “anti-men” agenda. I don’t believe that was the goal of the movie.

I actually saw the movie with my wife and found it an intriguing social commentary. At first, it made me a bit uncomfortable since Ken’s self-worth depends on attracting Barbie’s interest and she is not that interested in him. Ken’s character hilariously depicts that men feel insecure about their masculinity. There is some truth in that depiction. I also remembered this is satire. 

The movie depicts men who need to act manly or buy certain things to give themselves an identity and attract women. Whenever they find their masculinity is lacking, they feel inadequate, invisible, and worthless. They lash out in the most unmasculine ways. These immature males become either very passive or overly aggressive to all females.  These “boys” are not men at all. It’s one reason I wrote an entire series about The Complete Roadmap to Better Manhood.

Mature men don’t need the approval of anyone to feel fulfilled and respected. They are confident in who they are and know Using Your Masculinity Properly is the mark of a better man. They stand against patriarchy, abuse, and oppression. Maturity means you don’t need to become overly masculine or someone you are not, to be “Kenough.” 

Godly men are the opposite of a hollow, shell of a man. They are not empty but solid in identity which comes from Knowing Who You Are and Whose You Are as children of God. They are confident men with GodBuddies who share the desire to become more Christ-like.


Wisdom for Men is my opinion on topics that help men become better. The sources used are not fact-checked but support my theory that men are better with deeper, more authentic friendships. This GodBuddy theory is based on biblical principles but applies to all men, regardless of their beliefs. Better friendships can help solve the crisis of male friendship…and the world needs better men. It needs more men who desire to be more like Jesus, our ultimate role model.

[Feature Image from Warner Bros. Pictures via Google search. Also see The Hollow Man – A Historical Guide to the Ken, an article from Esquire UK]

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