Over the course of many years, society has slowly placed an unrealistic expectation of appearance on women. Through television, magazines, billboards, and even toys, human minds have been influenced into thinking women should look a certain way. One of the commonly recognized symbols of the “perfect woman” is the Barbie Doll. For years girls have dreamed of being that perfect woman and in Marge Piercy’s “Barbie Doll”, she satirizes that dream by telling a story of a girl whose pursuit to become perfect ultimately leads to ruin. Her overall theme she’s striving to demonstrate is that “ Girls are willing to kill themselves to live up to the unrealistic body images society pushes on them…”(Booth)
The poem begins by a seemingly normal little girl who was “… presented dolls that did pee-pee and miniature GE stoves and irons and wee lipsticks the color of cherry candy” (lines 2-4). By these gifts being presented to the girl, she was unknowingly being forced into a way of life and a role in society. This poem was written during a time where women were confined to their homes, and in the poem, Marge Piercy leads us to imagine a girl with a stove getting prepared for her man-made calling in life.
Continuing in the poem, there’s a shift in focus at line five when “…in the magic of puberty, a classmate [says]: You have a great big nose and fat legs.” At this point in the poem the adolescent begins to experience society starting to shove her into her place in society. Piercy specifically uses the words “magic of puberty” to help the reader comprehend the age of the children and then starts another stanza to possibly suggest yet another alter in focus from one stage of her life to another.
In the second stanza, the author uses lines 7-9 to go against the negative things the students said about the girl and tell of her copious perfections. She then utilizes the next two lines to illustrate one...