Barbie Doll Analysis: Bad Influence to Young Girls Mind

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Is Barbie the ideal woman? "For generations she has been the doll that little girls have aspired to be a party girl, career woman, and bathing beauty all wrapped into one" (Cain 1). In Marge Piercy’s poem "Barbie Doll," the title emphasizes the theme of the poem, which is that girls are ultimately captured by society’s narrow definitions of feminine behavior and beauty. By comparing the young woman in the poem to a Barbie doll, the author reveals the irony of the title. In the poem, the speaker is a person aware of the events taking place in a young girl’s life. However, the speaker is not aware of her feelings. It is obvious that the author uses Barbie in the poem to symbolize society’s views of what the perfect female should aspire to be. "Barbie’s unrealistic body type busty with tiny waist, thin thighs, and long legs is reflective of our cultures feminine ideal. By using similes, symbols, and a fairy tale-like tone, the author creates a suicidal young woman instead of Barbie, the glamorous sex symbol that the girl is compared too. The speaker sets the tone of the poem in the first stanza by starting with a happy beginning. Like many of the books and cartoons Barbie has starred in, which feature material possessions such as sports cars and endless shopping bags full of goodies, the poem too is filled with nice things for a young girl to play with such as dolls, miniature stoves, play irons, and lipstick. These items are not only gifts that young girls would like to have but are also things that are considered feminine. However, the items used in the first stanza show how nice and feminine the "girl child" (Piercy 1) world may seem. The items symbolize the gender role that a young girl possesses very early in life. Much like a Barbie doll, all girls are expected to be a certain way and enjoy activities thought to be feminine. The miniature stoves and irons symbolize the duties an ideal mother is thought to perform. By being presented these items, the young girl...
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