Poem Barbie Doll by Marge Piercy

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The title Barbie Doll suggests that the writer is about to discuss a child’s toy, maybe a little girl’s prized possession. After reading the poem, is apparent that the title is not about a toy but more about an image of perfection, society’s idea of perfection. I find the author’s comparisons of reality, to society’s image and the effect that it has on young girls very interesting. Barbie is the kind of doll that is given to almost every little girl at a very young age her and in mind she sees that this doll is perfect in every way, perfect beautiful face, perfect long blonde hair, perfect (very unrealistic) shaped body, and of course there are so many career titles that Barbie has achieved….Doctor Barbie, Teacher Barbie, President Barbie, Astronaut Barbie, Ambassador for World Peace Barbie…. the list goes on and on. A toy maker that thought that they were giving little girls options for careers and showing them that they can be anything that they wanted to be but was actually giving little girls the impression that they could or had to achieve all of these careers because “Barbie” did. In the first stanza of the poem “This girlchild was born as usual/ and presented dolls that did pee-pee/ and miniature GE stoves and irons/ and wee lipsticks the color of cherry candy/” (835) this is describing that the child is a typical young girl that was given miniature toys that imitated real life. These items give her a false sense of what real life is like. The last two lines of the first stanza states “Then in the magic of puberty, a classmate said:/ You have a great big nose and fat legs.” (835) Puberty is the turning point for every young girl, where her body is changing and she compares her image of herself to what she sees around her and what she has seen in her past, including Barbie the representation of a real woman that she played with in her imaginary world as a child. This is the time when a classmate makes negative remarks about what they see her looks...
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