Barbie Doll by Marge Piercy Analysis

1396 words 6 pages
Not Everyone is Made with a Barbie Doll Mold “Barbie Doll” by Marge Piercy is about a girl who is a normal child growing up; playing with dolls, miniature kitchen items and pretend make-up. It quickly takes an interesting turn when a pubescent child makes fun of her nose and legs and she was advised to exercise and diet despite the fact that she was intelligent and healthy. The poem continues on by the girl cutting her legs and nose and a bizarre visual of her laying in a casket with an ending that states “to every woman a happy ending”( Piercy 791). This poem was written by Piercy in 1969 a year in which many women liberation groups were forming and the breaking of womanly roles was taking place. The poem “Barbie Doll” by Marge Piercy, …show more content…

Another stanza states that, “she was advised to play coy, exhorted to come on hearty” ( Piercy 791). Even though she was emotionally struggling people would tell her repeatedly how to act and how to carry herself as a woman; and not just any woman but rather act as to what her critics believed was an attractive façade. Some of her critics went as far as to telling her to change her appearance by physical exercise. For instance, she is advised to “diet, smile and wheedle” ( Piercy 791). There was rules and standards set for her and even if she did not meet what society was telling her how to be she should still pretend and try to be confident and beautiful. Once again society only finds ways to improve yourself physically rather than mentally and just a person as a whole. With all the criticisms of society the girl is weighted down, and makes drastic measures to change her appearance in hopes of making everyone around her happy. One part in the poem states that, “ her good nature wore out like a fan belt ”( Piercy 791). She was already tired of apologizing and trying to meet the standards that society created for her. Consequently, she then “cut off her nose and legs and offered them up” ( Piercy 791). Somehow in her mind, she had decided that those were the two main things that were keeping her from being beautiful and thus solving everything.