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Marge Piercy - Barbie Doll

This girlchild was born as usual
and presented dolls that did pee-pee
and miniature GE stoves and irons
and wee lipsticks the color of cherry candy.
Then in the magic of puberty, a classmate said:
You have a great big nose and fat legs. 

She was healthy, tested intelligent,
possessed strong arms and back,
abundant sexual drive and manual dexterity.
She went to and fro apologizing.
Everyone saw a fat nose on thick legs. 

She was advised to play coy,
exhorted to come on hearty,
exercise, diet, smile and wheedle.
Her good nature wore out
like a fan belt.
So she cut off her nose and her legs
and offered them up. 

In the casket displayed on satin she lay
with the undertaker's cosmetics painted on,
a turned-up putty nose,
dressed in a pink and white nightie.
Doesn't she look pretty? everyone said.
Consummation at last.
To every woman a happy ending.

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Added: Feb 27 2003 | Viewed: 2362 times | Comments and analysis of Barbie Doll by Marge Piercy Comments (10)

Barbie Doll - Comments and Information

Poet: Marge Piercy
Poem: Barbie Doll
Volume: Circles on the Water: Selected Poems of Marge Piercy
Year: Published/Written in 1999

Comment 10 of 10, added on November 9th, 2011 at 3:28 AM.

I agree, Angela!

Comment 9 of 10, added on October 28th, 2010 at 8:17 PM.

i love it

terra from Bahamas
Comment 8 of 10, added on February 19th, 2009 at 6:52 AM.

This poem shows woman's suffering about her appearance. Marge Piercy explains, "So she cut off her nose and legs"(17). woman sacrifices her life to look beautiful. In fact, Barbie Doll is an image of how woman should look like. The author gave a famous Doll name to compare woman with it. When a little girl receives a Barbie Doll's gift, she loves it because it's beautiful. The girl's personality starts to develop on what she is receiving and seeing in her childhood. She sacrifices her life to look like a Barbie Doll which is impossible. This poor girl starts to suffer, and she develops an anxiety, depression, and self-concerned. She sees the image of a society that enforces woman should be embodied and have a sexy chap. She loses her self confident and becomes inferior and weak.

Saadia from United States

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