Barbie Doll: Is Barbie The Ideal Woman?

Topics: Barbie, Fashion doll, Woman, Mattel, Girl, Bild Lilli doll / Pages: 10 (2312 words) / Published: May 15th, 2008
Is Barbie the ideal woman? For generations she’s been the doll that little girls have aspired to be–a party girl, career woman and bathing beauty all wrapped into one . In Marge Piercy’s poem entitled "Barbie Doll," the title underscores the theme of the poem, which is that girls are ultimately and fatally entrapped by society’s narrow definitions of feminine behavior and beauty. By comparing the young lady 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 about what is happening. The poem is told in a matter-of-fact way, much like a Barbie storybook or movie. 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 culture’s feminine ideal. Yet less that two percent of American women can ever hope to achieve such dreamy measurements. By using similes, symbols, and a fairy tale-like tone, the author creates a cosmos starring a suicidal young lady instead of Barbie, the glamorous sex symbol the girl is compared to throughout the poem.
In the first stanza, the poem begins in a fairy tale-like fashion. By stating events in order, using pleasant and unpleasant images, and invoking emotion in the reader, the speaker begins his or her comparison of the character’s life to a Barbie doll’s life. 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. Then

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