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Eating Disorders In Marge Piercy's Barbie Doll

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Over time women have faced and overcome multiple obstacles. In this day and age, women have gained the right to vote, receive an education, and make their own decisions about their life. However, women are still faced with the struggle of fitting into societal norms, and this is becoming increasingly dangerous in our mass media society. For centuries, society has made females feel as if they must fit into the barbie doll image created by a patriarchal society. Some women face eating disorders, plastic surgeries, an abundance of makeup, or even the idea of suicide to elude thoughts of being less than ideal in other people's eyes. “Barbie Doll”, a hyperbolic poem about the dangers of body dysmorphia, depicts a young female confronted with a…show more content…
The first years are similar to any other normal experience of a child. The tone of the poem starts to change in line five to six, “Then in the magic of puberty, a classmate said:/ You have a great big nose and fat legs.” (Piercy) During puberty women start making their most dramatic physical changes, as fat is gained to start preparing for childbearing and emotions are heightened through hormonal changes. At this time, women become more sensitive, less confident, and more dependent on acceptance from others. The change in tone places emphasis on a time in life when young women are most vulnerable, and when they face the most judgement. Women are not told often enough that they need to accept who they are as a person, and are more often than not forced into feeling as if they need to change who they are as a person to make people happy. “Understand yourself, and do not hide anything. It’s your outlook on life that allows you to survive and live well.” (A Century of Women) Females need to understand this quote, so they are able to take on life, and prepare themselves for the future they envision rather than cowering down to standards society constructs and changing who they are because of those…show more content…
The subject commits suicide trying to be as everyone wants her to be, rather than just accepting herself and pushing the negative statements away. The girl in the poem had lived a life of never being pretty enough, never being good enough for the people around her. Piercy really hits home in lines twenty three through twenty five when she says “Doesn't she look pretty? everyone said./ Consummation at last./ To every woman a happy ending.” (Piercy) It is a complex irony to be thought of as pretty in the scope of the artistry of the undertaker as the subject literarily proffers up everything for the ready approval of the
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