From the time they are born, girls are influenced by society as to who they should be, how they should look, and how they should act. Americans believe that women should be to a certain standard; pretty, feminine, and especially, thin. The pressures derive from family, media, and friends. 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.
The poem, "Barbie Doll," written by Marge Piercy tells the story of a young girl growing up through the adolescence stage characterized by appearances and barbarity. The author uses imagery and fluctuating tone to describe the struggles the girl is experiencing during her teenage years, and the affects that can happen. The title of this poem is a good description of how most societies expect others, especially girls to look. Constantly, people are mocked for their appearance and expected to represent a "barbie-doll"-like figure. Few are "blessed" with this description. The female gender is positioned into the stereotype that women should be thin and beautiful. With this girl, the effects were detrimental. The first stanza describes the
Just from looking at the title of the poem, we can see that the author believes society's expectations of women are unrealistic. A barbie doll is supposed to be a figure of a “perfect” woman that is tall, skinny, and flawless. This look is obviously unachievable for a human being to accomplish. Barbie dolls are also only given to young girls. They are shown at a young age what they are supposed to look like and how they are supposed to act. This is where girls are first introduced to their female roles in society. A doll is fake and made of plastic, incapable of being intelligent and having a mind of its own. These are the issues that Piercy addresses throughout her poem “Barbie Doll.”
“ideals are developmentally ingrained in children and adolescents”( Englis 1). The idea of beauty and ideal looks are engraved into people at a young age. The little girl being given a Barbie doll shows this in the poem. The idea of beauty and how a woman should act are represented in the Barbie doll. The primary take away is beauty is not everything.
Like Georgiana in “The Birthmark”, women often find themselves striving to reach society’s expectation of beauty and perfection. In Marge Piercy’s poem “Barbie Doll”, a young girl is finally able to reach society’s version of beauty but she must die to do so. Piercy criticizes the ways “women are socialized into stereotypical feminine behavior” (“Overview: “Barbie Doll”, para. 1) in this poem and suggests that the pressure put on women to meet certain standards of beauty and behavior is destructive. The poem opens with the birth of a “girlchild” and all the “typical toys” that go along with it. When the girl hits puberty, her classmates begin to make fun of her big nose and fat legs. The girl is intelligent and healthy, but the other children only see the imperfections in her appearance. She is told she should behave “coy” and always wear a smile, but the teasing takes its’ toll. She cuts off her nose and legs and offers them up
Marge Piercy’s poem, “Barbie Doll,” helps us realize how hypocritical society is and how much we criticize and bring other people down. “She was advised to play coy, exhorted to come on hearty” (lines 12-13). In this example, it shows that people would tell the girlchild to act a certain way, quiet and reserved, but then go back and tell her to act loudly and cheerfully. This example helps to prove my point that society has a lot of expectations for women by using irony. “In the casket displayed… everyone said” (lines 19-23). This use of imagery helps us understand how girlchild’s body looked while it was lied down in her casket. This shows how society has
Negative self-image among women has been a struggle in society for a long period of time. Social media, magazines, and the pressures of society has caused many young girls to feel bad about themselves because they do not look like the clothing model on the runway or the bathing suit model on the front of a magazine. Females grow up with the pressures of having to be in shape, wearing the best clothes, and putting on a full face of makeup for a male to find them attractive. Society has deemed that only "fit" women are beautiful, and that idea has caused women to harm themselves, develop anorexia, and feel insecure of themselves daily. Two works of literature that discuss the struggles women face from society is Marge Piercy's poem "Barbie Doll"
In Marge Piercy's "Barbie Doll" a young girl is troubled by the classification of what it takes to become a beautiful woman. "Barbie Doll" details the image that society projects upon women. From an early age young women struggle to conform to the standards that society has defined for them. Beautiful dolls such as Barbie are frequently the first source of association that young girls have with the image that society has placed upon them.
“Barbie Doll” by Marge Piercy is about a girl who is a normal child growing up; playing with dolls, miniature kitchen items and pretend make-up. It quickly takes an interesting turn when a pubescent child makes fun of her nose and legs and she was advised to exercise and diet despite the fact that she was intelligent and healthy. The poem continues on by the girl cutting her legs and nose and a bizarre visual of her laying in a casket with an ending that states “to every woman a happy ending”( Piercy 791). This poem was written by Piercy in 1969 a year in which many women liberation groups were forming and the breaking of womanly roles was taking place. The poem “Barbie Doll” by Marge Piercy,
The poem “Barbie Doll” by Marge Piercy in relation to diversity alludes to specific aspects of gender, mainly targeting the female gender perspective and expectations. In the poem, Piercy is writing about a young girl transitioning from a child to a women and how society and its idea of beauty affects her. My interpretation of the poem is that the girl is basically crying out for help saying look I am healthy, intelligent, and strong but no one sees or cares about those things because the only thing they see when they look at her is her outside appearance and what society considers to be the flaws that she possesses. Although this was written in 1936 Piercy accurately describes the feeling of being defined or constricted by society to think, act, and look a particular way which is similar to that of todays society which is fueled by social media, where some find personal gratification and self confidence fueled from likes and retweets they receive.” Barbie doll “ is the perfect title for this poem because for the longest time a Barbie was a sign of something perfect and beautiful, a toy enjoyed by everyone and a conventional symbol for little girls all over the United States. Similarly the girl was conforming to be sort of like the Barbie doll in a way because of societal expectations and the want to be viewed in a particular light by ones peers.
Marge Percy “Barbie Doll” is a social commentary about the demanding pressures that the mass media produces about how women should look like and what type of body they should have. Women in the 1970s faced high standards and these standards still go on to this day. These high demands lead women to go above and beyond to meet standards that society has placed upon them. Some of these drastic measures can lead to consequences. In “Barbie Doll” the main character decided to undergo plastic surgery to fix her “big nose” and “fat legs”. Unfortunately she ended up dying in her struggle to meet the standard that the media has placed on her at an exceptionally young age. Her untimely death is a symbol and the theme of the poem that these women will work themselves to death to meet societies demands and most of the time it is all for nothing. All this women wanted was people to accept the way she looked and not critique her looks and it was not until her funeral day, when it no longer mattered, that she finally got that acceptance.