The Devastation of Social Pressure
One would think that growing up would be a fun, not a worry in the world, happy experience. Yes, that is the way it should be, but that’s not always the case, especially for women. As girls season into women they realize they not only have to face the fact that they’re in a patriarchal society, but also the influences and pressure they face in the social aspect of things, such as their looks and body image. There is so much competition amongst girls, especially when transitioning into a woman and through most of their adulthood. So instead of being able to enjoy life and absorbing the true quality of it, we are side tracked with superficial, stereotypical, shallow thoughts and images of how we think life is supposed to be. Although, who’s to say what’s right and what’s wrong with the way we interpret things? Marge Piercy, who wrote the poem “Barbie Doll”, has a very strong view of how destructive social pressure can be to a girl through her transitioning stages into a woman. She expresses how the Barbie doll, the toy figurine that woman idealize, is, in fact, a method of corruption to a young girl. First and for most we must understand who the persona is in the poem, which is a woman, and more specifically Marge Piercy herself. She is observing a young girl going from Wolfe 2 childhood, adolescents, adulthood and then death in a roundabout way. Starting with the first stanza, of four, the persona explains of a young girl, and her playing with a doll, the Mattel’s Barbie doll to be precise. This doll is to be described as tall, blonde hair, blue eyes and it has the perfect body. The girl, “…presented dolls that pee-pee/and miniature GE stoves and irons/ and wee lipsticks the color of cherry candy” (2-4). The words iron, stove, and lipstick are all play-things for the...
Cited: Piercy, Marge. “Barbie Doll.” Literature and the writing Process. Ed. Elizabeth, Susan, X. Day, Robert Funk, Linda S. Coleman. 9th Edition. Boston: Pearson, 2009.643. Print.
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