In the poem “Barbie Doll,” written by Marge Piercy, I see evidence to this idea in the poet’s use of irony, her attitude on the subjects of both inner and outer beauty, and her attitude on the significance of words interfering with a woman’s self confidence.
But for our purposes, we just can't get over the way Piercy's speaker in "Barbie Doll" really pulls together the absurd ways that young girls are brainwashed into looking and being something they're not. In fact, by end of the poem, the "girlchild" of the poem cuts off her "fat nose on thick legs" just to make everyone else happy and have a moment of looking pretty (even though she's lying dead in a casket at this point).
Did everyone get the newest ? Yeah, we didn't either. We're guessing that there's a reason for our better judgment and we're also pretty sure that might have something to say about the whole thing. In her poem, "Barbie Doll," first published in 1971, we have a whole host of reasons as to why one might feel compelled to opt for a space rocket over the latest Barbie trend for little Susie.
To put it mildly, Piercy wasn't too interested in shoving Barbie dolls and GE stoves into the faces of young girls. She thought that maybe girls might have a better go at thinking about things other than brushing hair and playing house (call her crazy). And considering that this particular poem was written in the midst of a feminist movement in America that redefined the lives of many women, we're guessing that Piercy's opinion wasn't hers alone.
Barbie Doll by Marge Piercy
The Price of Becoming a Barbie Doll
Within our society there is an extraordinary want and need for women to be perfect on the outside.
Sound a bit grim? We think so too, but at the same time Piercy's speaker manages to get us thinking about the ways our society normalizes expectations of women that aren't quite "normal." After all, being 5'9'', with an 18'' waist, and wearing a size 3 shoe doesn't strike us as . Oh, and a real life Barbie, according to these proportions, would have to walk on all fours and wouldn't menstruate. So yeah, maybe Piercy was on to something in this poem…
Marge Piercy’s poem, “Barbie Doll” depicts a girl who was never recognized for her character and spent her life trying to be accepted for who she was, rather than how she looked.
Marge Piercy Narrative Poem Place: Everywhere in life.
Time: 1950's, through the life of a teenage girl
Characters:The girl, the speaker, the people who judge her
Events(conflicts and resolutions):Growing up and dealing with the judgements of society and how they pressured the girl in the narrative to take her life to be the perfect "barbie".
Figurative Language - Conceit: Extended Metaphor
Marge Piercy starts the poem as if she is telling the poem as if she is telling a fairy tale.
· "This girlchild was born as usual and presented dolls" the poem begins as as any fairy tale starts begins with a princess being born to a kingdom.