The Girl In Marge Piercy's Barbie Doll

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Society has a huge effect on an individual’s life. Both men and women feel as if it is common to alternate their appearance to please society’s expectations. The poem, “Barbie Doll”, was written by Marge Piercy in the 1960’s. The girl in the poem is forced to be what society expects her to be. This poem has an influential and powerful message for its readers. 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. Throughout the first stanza, the girl enjoys typical activities such as…show more content…
The statement, “Then in the magic of puberty, a classmate said: You have a great nose and fat legs” implies that the girl is coming of age. She is beginning to mature and her body is transforming into adolescent through puberty. Puberty changes the way she sees herself. Since the classmate makes the statement about her nose and legs, the girl has focus her attention on her self-image and she knows that her legs and nose are changing; however, she does not understand the changes. The girl sees her self-image as disgusting. This influential line expresses the control and effects that other have on one’s personal self-image. Although Piercy describes the girl as being intelligent and strong, she views herself as imperfect. Society seems to care about physical appearances and not the meaningful qualities, such as inner beauty, strength
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