Barbie Doll Essay

704 Words May 12th, 2015 3 Pages
Society has placed immense pressure on girls and women of all ages. The definition of Beauty has been altered over the years and the expectation of what beauty looks like is now sickly represented by a materialistic object, a Barbie Doll. Although not every individual conforms to expecting this modern representation of beauty, society as a whole has placed pressure on girls and women to strive to look this way. The consequences of not having this appearance are often brutal. Girls are deemed as ugly, unpopular, and are frequently disrespected by their peers or most often by men. Contemporary poet Marge Piercy published a narrative poem titled “Barbie Doll.” The Four stanzas provide the reader with a brief tale of a nameless
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We set lofty, unattainable standards and the harshly criticize those who do not meet them, as represented in this poem. As the girl matures, she receives counsel from others. However it is only superficial. No one tells her that the way she is looks is acceptable or that beauty comes in many different shapes and forms, not just the status quo. Unfortunately society often eliminates the idea of independence and individuality, which Piercy points out through the girl feeling the need to apologize for simply being herself. Grimly, This lack of social acceptance pushes the girl to her breaking point
In the third stanza there is list of false comforts and shallow behaviors aimed at promoting her happiness and success. A feeble attempt to cure the depression she begins to face. Piercy placed this list as a reminder of what society expects out of women, “hearty, exercise, and diet” (3). In time, her natural goodness breaks down like a worn-out automobile part. Finally, as an adult, she permanently rids herself of her perceived inadequacies by means of what is presented as a sacrificial offering, in other words a suicide. In the final stanza, the reader discovers the now deceased woman displayed in her casket with a “turned-up putty nose, dressed in a pink and white nightie” (4), as the undertaker had invested the time to make her look like an acceptable woman for the funeral. Onlookers find her “pretty” (4).

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