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Barbie - you cougar! After 50 years, Barbie is getting a new face on her old love. In another attempt to make the grand dame of all plastic dolls trendy (in a competitive market that includes werewolf dolls that shave their legs), Mattel hosted an online reality contest in search of a new look for Ken, her long-standing (if anatomically questionable) boyfriend.

The winner of the Genuine Ken competition: 25-year-old Iowa linebacker Kurtis Taylor (a.k.a. Dreamer Ken), who describes the perfect boyfriend as someone who "puts her feelings above his at all times and makes sure she is happy at the end of every day."

Music to Barbie's ears, we're certain. After all, she broke up with Ken seven years ago, and only allowed him to woo her back this past Valentine's Day.

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For his part, The New York Times reports that Mr. Taylor won over the judges in the romance part of the competition: Given $500 to buy gifts, he gave each judge a penny, and used the rest of the money for charity.

It remains to be seen whether a new look will boost sales for Ken, who has never been that big of a draw - but of course the real focus has always been on his leggy, buxom girl. And, however you feel about her, she's still aging pretty well.

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Erin Anderssen writes about mental health, social policy and family issues. More

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