Identity In Marge Piercy's Barbie Doll

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Whether it be in the workplace or walking down the street there is always going to be more pressure and judgment being focused on women than men. Why is this? Gender plays a big role on the reflection of our identities to society. We have been brought to believe that there are certain ways men and women should and should not act, dress and talk. These social norms do not just apply to what is acceptable in regards to public safety but rather, it is used as a way to control and evaluate behavior. In the following essay, we will explore how your sex and gender affect your identity in society.

Let us take a look at the word identity. According to the dictionary of psychology on, a persons identity is defined as their “own sense
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With the constant fear of ridicule and discrimination, we still try and define ourselves, though we are always under the society’s scope. Marge Piercy, in her poem “Barbie Doll”, gives us a look at the influence of our surroundings and how something as innocent as a doll can trigger these insecurities. Our strive for acceptance and “perfection” can cause major emotional damage on anyone who identifies as a woman. Young girls look at these depictions of “perfect” bodies, such as a barbie doll for example, and compare themselves. In the poem “Barbie Doll”, Piercy talks about a young girl who she described as “...healthy, tested and intelligent...” (247) but, she was picked on by peers who said she had “a great big nose and fat legs.” This led her to apologize for her body, something no one should ever have to do, as well faking a smile, dieting and exercising. After faking it for so long she was worn out and as Piercy put it she, “...cut off her nose and legs...” (247). This is a very real scenario, especially in this day and age more and more girls are opting for surgery just to fit into what is considered to be “beautiful.” That may be a way of them choosing their identity but, it really shows how much of a societal impact there is on all of
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