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Opinion: Allan Deserved Better

(Editors Note: The following contains spoilers for Barbie)

All we know about Allan is that he's Ken's buddy and fits into Ken's clothes, and quite frankly, I've had Kenough.

There is only one Allan, in a world of Kens attempting to drag Barbieland into a state of Patriarchy, he is the sole, male supporter of the Barbies, working to help the indoctrinated Barbies realise they are more than accessories to the Kens.

I think one of the most interesting things the past week or so has been seeing the male criticism of the Barbie movie- saying it’s an attack on men etc (not accurate at all, but that's for another article), and this focus on the depiction of Ken and how its allegedly wrong (but when women are talking about how these are universal experiences, don't tell us that its wrong). But I'm getting off track here, back to the unsung hero of Barbie- the man who has become a favourite amongst the film's female audience, and let's talk about why this is.

Allan doesn't play guitar at you. He doesn't steal your dreamhouse or your dreams. Allan doesn't ask you to be his “long-term long-distance low-commitment casual girlfriend”. He doesn't try to remove every shred of your autonomy, turning you into a lack-lustre version of yourself. He doesn't gaslight or manipulate you.

And because of this, I can't help but wonder if the men getting angry about the Kens feel that way because they're seeing the sides of men they are in denial about- the side that nullifies the individuality of the Barbies, the side that takes what the Barbies work for as their own, the side that is literally so undeniably toxic, needy and manipulative, that taking accountability for would almost make you feel shameful.

Now, look back to Allan- he defines non-traditional masculinity. He is a feminist. He is adored by the audience. But similarly to how Ken doesn't exist without Barbie, Allan doesn't exist without Ken. Allan has no multiples in Barbie Land, but maybe in the Real World, we can cut out the middleman that is Ken, and all become a bit more Allan.

So please, in a world of Kens, be an Allan.


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