"Barbie Doll" by Marge Piercy

Essay by eric86Junior High, 9th grade March 2007

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The poem, "Barbie Doll", is about a girl who was growing up in a society which regard highly of female beauty. The title illustrates that most females were expected to be like Barbie dolls. These dolls cast pressure on the girl to be like supermodel. In this story, the girl failed to meet the standards of society and viewed as a “social outcast.”The first paragraph describes a growing girl who was presented with “dolls,” “miniature GE stoves,” “irons” and “lipsticks.” This will ensure that the girl will know which gender roles she should be and not too deviate from the accepted social custom. The mood of the poem changes when the author describes, “the magic of puberty.” Here, it refers to a time of emotional crisis that the girl went through as she matures. She is constantly teased for not looking like the typical Barbie dolls.

The second paragraph began with mentioning the girl’s positive aspects, such as “She was healthy, tested intelligent,” “possesses strong arms and back” and “abundant sexual drive and manual dexterity,” These sentences portray the girl image (female) to male characteristics.

The tome in the poem changes again when the author stated, “the girl went to and fro apologizing,” and everyone still say she had a fat nose and thick legs, the society again, scorn at the “ugly” appearance of the girl.

In the third paragraph, line twelve to sixteen, the girl is expected to fake her natural behavior, emotion and characteristics. The “fan belt” was used to exemplify that one cannot endure the pressure placed by society to meet their standards and will wear out eventually. Consequently, she cut off her nose and legs. Therefore, the last paragraph expressed her death as “consummation at last.” Don’t she look pretty? Everyone said.” In this...