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Barbie Doll Essay

2412 words - 10 pages

LITR 301
February 18, 2014
Girl Compared to a Barbie Doll
Women were considered the subordinate gender that was expected to have this stay at home homemaker attitude. They were supposed to powder their noses and look pretty. Women are discriminated against in society. Women have stereotypical gender roles they are supposed to uphold. As suggested in the poem “Barbie Doll” by Marge Piercy the Barbie doll is the idealized image of a woman and is considered to have long legs, perfect skin, small waist and a slender figure. The Barbie doll speaks for itself. It says that women should be domestic workers and maintain a feminine outer appearance. These type of values affect young girls because ...view middle of the document...

The toy Barbie doll and “Girl” suggest womanhood is characterized by gender stereotypes. They are to be domestic and maintain an outer feminine appearance. It do not matter if you are a career or stay at home woman, women are still confined to doing their role as being a woman. Just because you hold a job as women, it still means that when you get home you are to change into that domesticated mode and do your duties as a wife and or mother. You are still expected to take care home.
When young girls view that Barbie doll, they see a body image of a woman who is considered perfect. That doll is flawless and characterizes femininity suggesting that this is how women should look. Barbie has a slender body with very long legs, a small waist, and a full chest. Realistically, if you were to make Barbie a real woman that woman would be awkward looking. That woman would not be able to stand up. The way she is built is so fictitious. It is unrealistic for a woman to be built that way but it is still viewed by society as the ideal body type. Society sees a woman tall and slender she is viewed as more laudable compared to a shorter heavier woman. Therefore, this begins to ruin young girls who do not have that build closest to a Barbie doll such as the girl in the poem “Barbie Doll”. They begin to think that they must emulate Barbie’s image. Therefore, they begin to do things that make them look like Barbie.
In “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid, she criticizes patriarchy arguing that it confines women to stereotypical gender roles that make women feel inferior. While young girls are programmed to think that, they should match Barbie’s images Kincaid argues that, with diction that young girls are brainwashed and pressured into thinking that they must fulfill the standards of idealized patriarchal norms. This in the end has a negative effect on them. In the poem “Girl” Kincaid uses dictions such as “don’t, always, this is how you should and make sure to” (Kirszner 104-105) suggests that once again women is forced and pressured into society’s ideals of how to be a woman. Young girls do not speak their minds so they do not challenge those ideals. They do not speak out on their individuality. They seem to accept that they are trapped under patriarchy and they pass that along to their daughters. Which in turns to a never-ending cycle of programmed thinking, passed down from one generation to the next. The mother who is speaking to the daughter is commanding her to be woman like and not like the slut; she is bent on becoming (Kirszner 104-105). This is pressure on the the young lady by the mother. This gives off the impression that not only are the younger women brainwashed but the older women are also caught up in society’s views of how a woman should act and look. This idea is not only portrayed by men but by women who also think this way. The pressure to look like and act like a Barbie doll not only come from men but older women. Women fall into the category of...

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