Taking inspiration not only from Ken dolls but also the face-smoothing filters that people are so obsessed with currently, the subjects featured within the project have their skin smoothed over to give a plastic effect and, much like the real dolls, even have their nipples removed. Completing the look, each model has black lines around his neck and arms, signifying where the plastic dolls would have their limbs constructed.
Speaking on the project, photographer Courtney Charles said: "With the 'Ken' series, I hope to show that there isn’t just one common ideal of the modern man. Regardless of who you are, you can still be the 'plastic-perfect' version of yourself."
Unlike the original dolls, Charles’ series features models of all races and builds. It’s simply part of his aim to break down stereotypes and illustrate how fluid ideologies of men continues to be in 2018: “Much of my work strives to shift people’s perceptions of gender, sexuality, and social norms by showing that being different is beautiful."
Charles is hosting a live Ken event in New York City this Saturday, entitled "The Modern Ken" and featuring a cast of life-size Ken doll models. The event is in conjunction with Christos Bakalexis, founder of Match Bak Entertainment, who serves as executive producer of the occasion.