Not Everyone is Made with a Barbie Doll Mold
“Barbie Doll” by Marge Piercy is about a girl who is a normal child growing up; playing with dolls, miniature kitchen items and pretend make-up. It quickly takes an interesting turn when a pubescent child makes fun of her nose and legs and she was advised to exercise and diet despite the fact that she was intelligent and healthy. The poem continues on by the girl cutting her legs and nose and a bizarre visual of her laying in a casket with an ending that states “to every woman a happy ending”( Piercy 791). This poem was written by Piercy in 1969 a year in which many women liberation groups were forming and the breaking of womanly roles was taking place. The poem “Barbie Doll” by Marge Piercy, describes the challenges that women of all ages face when they can not fit into society standards of being a woman and how it can be detrimental to them.
Women in the 50’s at a young age are taught to look and act a certain way, they are sexualized at an early age and not to mention the idea of a women’s place are subconsciously taught to girls at a very young age. For instance, they were “presented dolls that did pee-pee and miniature GE stoves and irons” ( Piercy 791). As these young girls are being brought up, they are given little baby dolls and everything that resembles the duties and characteristics of a woman. Such as raising children, cooking and cleaning all characteristics of women according to society in the 50‘s. In addition, beauty is also emphasized in the early age of this particular little girl. For example, Piercy strategically adds the line “ . . . wee lipsticks the color of cherry candy” ( Piercy 791). From an early age girls are raised with toy cosmetics and are encouraged to dress up and thus a time where many standards are being set forth for women on how to be a woman.
As the poem continues, the girl is growing up and feeling the pressures of becoming an adolescent. For example, the stanza states that...
Cited: Piercy, Marge. "Barbie Doll." Literature for Composition. Ed. Sylvan Barnet, William Burto, and William E. Cain. Boston: Longman, 2010. 791. Print.
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