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“Barbie Doll” by Marge Piercy Essay

The poem, “Barbie Doll”, is about a girl who was growing up in a society which regard highly of female beauty. The title illustrates that most females were expected to be like Barbie dolls. These dolls cast pressure on the girl to be like supermodel. In this story, the girl failed to meet the standards of society and viewed as a social outcast.The first paragraph describes a growing girl who was presented with dolls, miniature GE stoves, irons and lipsticks. This will ensure that the girl will know which gender roles she should be and not too deviate from the accepted social custom. The mood of the poem changes when the author describes, the magic of puberty. Here, it refers to a time of emotional crisis that the girl went through as she matures. She is constantly teased for not looking like the typical Barbie dolls.

The second paragraph began with mentioning the girls positive aspects, such as She was healthy, tested intelligent, possesses strong arms and back and abundant sexual drive and manual dexterity, These sentences portray the girl image (female) to male characteristics. The tome in the poem changes again when the author stated, the girl went to and fro apologizing, and everyone still say she had a fat nose and thick legs, the society again, scorn at the ugly appearance of the girl.

In the third paragraph, line twelve to sixteen, the girl is expected to fake her natural behavior, emotion and characteristics. The fan belt was used to exemplify that one cannot endure the pressure placed by society to meet their standards and will wear out eventually. Consequently, she cut off her nose and legs. Therefore, the last paragraph expressed her death as consummation at last. Dont she look pretty? Everyone said. In this line, the author wants the reader to make good judgment to the senseless situation in which society judge beauty to female.

I think that children, especially boys, are not born with hatred or feelings of enmity towards female who have physical figures below social standards. They are all programmed that way by selfish or ignorant male adults. If these male adults can only take a look at themselves and see that all they have done is to destroy. The lives of their opposite sex, driving down their self-esteem to the deepest pit, then this society will be a better place to live in.

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