Marge Piercy Barbie Doll Essay

2081 Words9 Pages
Many people have quoted the famous saying, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, however society has told the people what is the perception of beauty for many years. In Ancient Greece during c.500 through 300 B.C. a beautiful woman was fuller and had pale skin (Edwards), the idea has since changed a lot since then. Beauty is now described as a flat stomach, “healthy” skin, and to have long legs. This image is brought to everyone as soon as they turn on the television or go to the store and see a magazine. The idea of being beautiful is what many women strive, for that is what gave the poet Marge Piercy the idea for her poem “Barbie Doll”. Marge Piercy used being a woman and pressure of beauty during her time, of the 1970s, to bring about a poem that tells the story of a woman who has to change for society to be called pretty.

The poem
…show more content…
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. The lips during the 1970s varied from deep colors, to reds, to shiny lip gloss (H&MUA). The shine or the deep colors might give the impression of a cartoon, along with the vivid eye shadows. The woman started out unique, then when society told her that beauty was only skin deep she decided to accept the idea, she changed, and in the end she finally got their
Open Document