The poem “Barbie Doll” by Marge Piercy, discusses how people think that beauty is the most important thing. As a child grows up, society brainwashes them into thinking that looks are more important than anything else. Every little girl has had a Barbie doll, and that Barbie is always beautiful with an hour glass figure and this is where it all starts. When a child becomes a teenager, their body starts to change and develop into ways that society may not improve of. Then when adulthood is reached, some spend a lot of money to change their appearance just to feel excepted. Sometimes they make it off of the operation table, sometimes they don’t.
The Barbie doll has become the ideal way that girls are supposed to look like when they get older. The title is not about just a toy, it’s more about an image of perfection. In the first stanza of the poem, ...view middle of the document...
Other kids make fun of her because she doesn’t have that Barbie doll figure. So as a girl goes through middle school and high school, she tries every day to do her best by fitting in with the popular pretty girls even though they make fun of her and talk about her behind her back. So the girl tries to change her looks by going on a diet and exercising. Piercy also gives an example of a simile by illustrating, “Her good nature wore out like a fan belt” (Shands 2).
Piercy gives details about how the girl made drastic details to her body. She was slowly drifting away. But the girl still wasn’t satisfied, so she went to a doctor and had plastic surgery on her body. But while she was in surgery, she never woke up. So there she lies in a casket on a satin blanket with all of her cosmetics painted on with her new nose looking beautiful. Piercy gives an example of a metaphor when stating “To every woman a happy ending” (Cengage 1). She’s implying that it’s a happy ending when it’s not.
This poem demonstrates the life of women and how they are expected to look and act a certain way. The girl in the poem represents all girls. There is one time or another that we do not feel accepted or perfect. From the time they are born till the day they die, people are always being judged every second of every day. As a little girl, beauty is all they know. As they grow to be teens, reality sets in and everything becomes overwhelming. As an adult, it can be taken a little bit too far. Marge Piercy makes a great analysis of life in this poem.
Cengage, Gale: Source: Poetry for Students, ©2012 Gale Cengage. All Rights Reserved. Print.
Piercy, Marge, Barbie Doll. Perrine's Literature Structure, Sound, and Sense. 9th Edition. Print.
Shands, Kerstin W, The Repair of the World: The novels of Marge Piercy, Greenwood Publishing Group, Connecticut, 1994. Print.
Doherty, Patricia, Marge Piercy: An Annotated Bibliography, Wespoa, CT: Greenwood Press, 1997.