Analysis Of The Limited Edition Platinum Barbie, By Denise Duhamel

805 Words Oct 19th, 2015 4 Pages
In this essay, I will explore the themes of various poems from “Kinky”, by Denise Duhamel. The poems “The Limited Edition Platinum Barbie” and “One Afternoon When Barbie Wanted to Join the Military”, reflect upon the oppressive beauty standards and gender expectations in our culture and hyperbolize them to a dystopian point. Duhamel uses Barbie as a metaphor throughout these poems, and addresses our culture’s misogyny, while making Barbie a first person character and giving her a voice. The poem “The Limited Edition Platinum Barbie” critiques our culture’s narrow standard of beauty. Our society is consumed by the fantasy and perfection of the idealized body. This constant fixation on physical perfection has created unreasonable beauty standards for women, ones we cannot possibly achieve on our own. Such standards permeate all form of popular media, particularly fashion magazines and advertisements. Women are bombarded with the notion that we must be thin in order to be desirable. These images project an unrealistic and even dangerous standard of feminine beauty that can have a powerful influence on the way women see themselves. Barbie is used a metaphor for this throughout the poem. Duhamel writes: “Collectors can pay in four monthly installments of $38.50 and have Barbie delivered to their home. Others can go to Mackie’s display at FAO Shwartz’s, the most expensive city in New York, to remind themselves of what they’ll never be, of what…

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