Marge Piercy’s “ Barbie Doll” establishes the character to be a young girl who hits the stage of puberty and is then subjected to people's hurtful words that destroy her body image. Before these words she seemed to be a normal little girl playing with all the right toys. The words spoken were with intent to help the girl change her physical appearance so she could be a better version of herself, but in the end the girl felt there was no other option. She could never make everyone happy.
Your decisions to comply with society’s view of “beauty” are no longer subconscious, but rather are more conscious-driven decisions. Barbie’s slender figure remains idolized; however, it has evolved from a plastic doll to a self-starving model that is photo-shopped on the pages of glossy magazines. You spend hours in front of a mirror adjusting and perfecting your robotic look while demanding your parents to spend an endless amount of money on cosmetics and harmful skin products to acquire a temporary version of beauty. Consider companies such as Maybelline, which have throughout the ages created problematic and infantilizing campaigns and products for women. More specifically consider the “Baby Lips” product as well as the company slogan, “maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s Maybelline,” that reiterates the male notions of beauty to which women are subjected.
However, when she gets a new Barbie the following Christmas and ends up destroying it, she learns to accept both Barbie dolls. In “Pretty Hurts” sang by Beyonce, the speaker was taught from a young age to care about appearances. Throughout the story the speaker struggles with herself, and she thinks she is not good enough. In the end she comes to realization, and shes says she is finally happy with herself. Between these two sources, the theme; ‘Everybody needs to learn that you are beautiful in your own way, and don’t need to live up to beauty standards’ is shown between the dynamic character of the speaker in “Pretty Hurts” and the motif/symbol of the two Barbies in “Barbie”.
Even though they affect little girl’s view of physical beauty, idealize a female’s search for her other half and promote passive behavior. They do encourage these same girls to believe and hope in a better life. The positive energy emitted from its characters is what makes these Disney movies so successful, despite all of its imperfections. According to Professor Sara Coyne, who researched whether Disney princesses have an influence on little girls, one of the solutions is to only allow girls to watch Disney princess shows in moderation.4 This means that a young girl could watch an average of one Disney princess movie per week.
The life of a women is difficult at all the stages of life, from birth to death, there is certain clothes they need to wear, they need to act a certain way, and do the chores that society feels are necessary for them to do. Society makes it clear that a woman is different from men and the tasks that they have are different. The author of “Barbie Doll,” Marge Piercy sheds a light of the difference on how people treat girls and women as they go from early childhood to adolescence. Piercy uses the connotation of different words, visual imagery, and the comparison between different elements in the girl’s life to ironize society’s social standards that lead to women’s suicides and deaths.
Young ladies and women are going to the extreme to have a similar appearance to Barbie. Women and young girls are extreme dieting, overworking their bodies, having eating disorders and some are even resulting in plastic surgery. Today there is even an actual term used for people that are so obsessed with having the perfect body, its called Barbie Syndrome. This term is loosely used to describe when young women want to have a physical appearance and lifestyle similar to Barbie. Most women that suffer this syndrome are pre teens and teenagers.
(“Marge Piercy: Biography”). So, reading this, “Barbie Doll” had definitely been related to her experience. Although Marge Piercy did not exactly die the way the girl did in the poem, but I suppose she was dying to be herself on the inside. In most of Piercy’s poems and other literary works, she expresses change. She dreams of social change, and feminist revival.
The first thing that comes to my mind when I hear the words “Barbie Doll” is one of my favorite childhood toys. The main character of this poem is a young girl who was born in a judgmental world. She never had the opportunity to feel satisfied or happy with herself. She was trying to please others and make a way for herself to accept and feel confident within.
The two words “Barbie Doll” is an essential part of a little girl’s vocabulary and most every little girl owns a Barbie doll. The doll represents an image of a perfect woman; however, in reality, women should not expect to be perfect. This is a narrative poem which summarizes the life of a young girl. The poem begins with “This girl child was born usual.” This line indicates that the child is born like any normal child.
The woman, who started out strong, is left on display for the world to see what they turned her into. The “cosmetics painted on” and her “putty nose” is what society has made her think was pure beauty. A face where the lips and eyes are cartoonish and the nose was vanishingly small, this is what the world tells women (Talbot). The makeup during the time that Marge Piercy wrote the poem was a bold, vivid eye (H&MUA). The cartoonish look is a step into the trends of the past, for the bright colors that were popular for women during the 1970s.
In the short story ''Barbie Q,'' Sandra Cisneros portrays that Barbie dolls can impact girl's lives as they grow up, and influence the way they act and perceive themselves. These girls grow up in a poor family environment considering that they acquired the rest of the dolls in a toys sale after a store burned down. In ‘‘Barbie Q,’’what is the thematic significance of the damaged dolls after the fire? The girl’s enthusiasm to get the new dolls -when they said that they prefer to receive new doll’s clothes- suggests that the meaning of these Barbie dolls is more than just a new toy.
The novel Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta and the magazine article, The Good Wife’s Guide, originally published in ‘Housekeeping Monthly’ in 1955, explore the gender roles of the stereotypical 1950’s housewife and how they should behave. These texts also investigate the idea that women are treated differently from men and some impacts that growing up in a sexist and single minded society can have on the youth of the community. Gender stereotyping someone is to discriminate them because of their gender, making the assumption that they obtain a certain characteristic or trait because of their gender. The Goods House Wife’s Guide is an eighteen point list that depicts how a wife in 1955 should act and all of the things she needs to
I am a strong believer in woman joining into the armed forces. They have different ways of thinking and solving problem. You get more opinions plus they are more than capable to achieve the standards of all armed forces. Women are also more sensitive about things which sometimes is what can save your life in a combat zone. Most people say that women are unfit and incapable to submit to military life.
Barbie: The Plastic Insecurity In Marge Piercy’s Barbie Doll, the author tries to bring awareness to an issue because of the overwhelming social pressures and insecurities, one girl has that causes her to commit suicide. The classic Barbie doll came out in 1959 and this poem was published in 1971 giving only 12 years for the Barbie doll to be out on the market and have an impact on little girls. In Piercy’s poem, as the girlchild is growing up, she is given all the toys girls today get, toy dolls, GE stoves, irons, and lipsticks (Piercy). All the things she will need to be “successful” as a woman.
People conform because they believe the group is competent and has the correct information, (Conformity, Compliance, and Obedience, n.d.). As human beings we are all social creatures who crave social acceptance, and wired to fit in, we respect people so that they can also respects us as different individuals. Society has set rules that need to be followed if we have to be accepted and fit in. I feel society has had influence on my behaviour towards fellow human beings and I feel pressurized to accept certain norms that I would otherwise question and refuse to abide by if it was entirely up to me to determine that. Society expects me to be an upright person who cannot do certain things in public, for example I cannot go to work dressed in my pyjamas or attend church in my sweatpants.