Marge Piercy

(March 31, 1936 / Detroit, Michigan)

Barbie Doll

Poem by Marge Piercy

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.


Comments about Barbie Doll by Marge Piercy

  • Dixie Normous (11/5/2019 9:52:00 AM)

    Is she talking about Joe?(Report)Reply

    sofa king(11/14/2019 5:41:00 PM)

    Wh0's JoE? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

    4 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • MIsslizzie777 (10/24/2019 2:09:00 PM)

    Would you teach this to 14 year old freshmen?(Report)Reply

    5 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Adeeb AlfatehAdeeb Alfateh (7/30/2019 3:58:00 AM)

    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.

    superb and great write
    great 10++++++++++++++++(Report)Reply

    6 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Julia Luber (4/29/2019 12:08:00 PM)

    Wicked and intense; Marge targets a cynical aristocracy of existence which drives some people insane- but not all: amazing that some people feel 'normal' and 'complicit' with these kinds of attitudes- and in fact actually create and indoctrinate them. Sad/depressing/irritating/interrupting something that was meant to be genuine- life itself.(Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Julia Luber (4/29/2019 12:06:00 PM)

    Wicked and intense; Marge targets a cynical aristocracy of existence which drives some people insane- but not all: amazing that some people feel 'normal' and 'complicit' with these kinds of attitudes- and in fact actually create and indoctrinate them. Sad/depressing/irritating/interrupting something that was meant to be genuine- that is, life!(Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Anon Ymous (2/19/2019 1:51:00 PM)

    Piercy's works are dark and morbid. Plagued with depression and mental illness, hospitalized in a mental institution, divorced twice, remarried a third time, she eventually committed suicide. She was lost and extremely unhappy- while living a feminist lifestyle which was never able to make her happy- yet she is considered to be an inspirational addition to the feminist movement. I am a wife and mother. Piercy's life and ideas are not an example I want my daughters following.Already ReportedReply

    Ashli A(2/21/2019 11:26:00 AM)

    to find the right guy I would much rather have my kids go through two divorces and end up with someone who loves, supports, and appreciates them than to stay with someone who doesn't take them seriously or cheats on them. Just saying you should really do your research before you decide to slander someone's name in a post.

    Ashli A(2/21/2019 11:20:00 AM)

    Eventually their relationship ended because it was unhealthy and she wasn't going to continue her life like that. Her third and current husband is a man who loves and supports her. They've even written a novel together and founded Leapfrog press. She is an amazing political writer who has dealt with so much in her life and maybe it took her three tries...

    Ashli A(2/21/2019 11:08:00 AM)

    Instead of staying with someone who didn't support her despite the fact that the awards she had won is what gave her the opportunity to move to France and meet him in the first place. Her second marriage was to a man who wasn't faithful and had multiple mistresses. She stayed with him for years despite this because she loved him.

    Ashli A(2/21/2019 11:03:00 AM)

    To start 90% of what you said is false. Piercy never had depression nor was she hospitalized in a mental institution nor did she commit suicide. Her first marriage was to a man who believed in conventional roles and didn't take her writing seriously so she left him.

    ashli(2/21/2019 10:56:00 AM)

    To start 90% of what you said is false. Piercy never had depression nor was she hospitalized in a mental institution nor did she commit suicide. Her first marriage was to a man who believed in conventional roles and didn't take her writing seriously so she left him. (part 1)

    4 person liked.
    12 person did not like.
  • Smith (2/19/2019 1:38:00 PM)

    Piercy's works are dark and morbid. Plagued with depression and mental illness, hospitalized in a mental institution, divorced twice, remarried a third time, she eventually committed suicide. She was lost and extremely unhappy- while living a feminist lifestyle which was never able to make her happy- yet she is considered to be an inspirational addition to the feminist movement. I am a wife and mother. Piercy's life and ideas are not an example I want my daughters following.Already ReportedReply

    2 person liked.
    14 person did not like.
  • George W. Bush (2/11/2019 3:19:00 PM)

    she kinda quirky doe 😍(Report)Reply

    11 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Lebron (1/11/2019 3:14:00 PM)

    THICK LEGS
    mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm(Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • bigddude (1/11/2019 3:13:00 PM)

    thick legs mmmmmmmmmmmmmAlready ReportedReply

    4 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • Bharati NayakBharati Nayak (12/5/2018 2:11:00 AM)

    (Part-2) We don't know while criticizing a person for his appearance, we are bringing irreparable damage to his psyche at a deeper level , which is not visible to outside.It is particularly true in case of children and teenagers.as they are more sensitive.(Report)Reply

    8 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Bharati NayakBharati Nayak (12/5/2018 2:10:00 AM)

    A heart touching write - - - -It is how a perfectly healthy and beautiful girl was judged for her nose and by a careless comment of a classmate she was depressed and lost her spirit and tried every thing to improve her body features.But in the process she lost her life.This is a sad story. (part-1)(Report)Reply

    7 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Bri EdwardsBri Edwards (11/18/2018 9:51:00 PM)

    this is planned to be in the December 2018 showcase in my PH site. any questions, please ask.

    Thanks.

    (:(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Bri EdwardsBri Edwards (11/15/2018 2:18:00 PM)

    COMMENT #2:

    i admit i prefer certain physical characteristics, but wouldn't it be 'better' if physical appearance weren't so important to some? There is so much more to a person.

    To MyPoemList. And perhaps to a showcase one month on my PH site.

    Bri

    (:(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Bri EdwardsBri Edwards (11/15/2018 2:16:00 PM)

    COMMENT # 1:
    my vocal reaction at the end of the poem: Oh, my God.

    what a ride you have taken us on! ! !

    i mentally cringe when i hear someone 'praising' another for their perceived good looks/beauty/cuteness/handsomeness. we, at birth, get a body which for better or worse [[ so to speak ]]. develops physically.

    (CONT.)(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Lizzzzzz (9/20/2018 6:55:00 PM)

    Did she undergoe nose surgery?(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Skrrrrrrrrrrrt (9/13/2018 1:12:00 PM)

    Big nose lmaooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo(Report)Reply

    5 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • sonu patel (8/30/2018 2:23:00 PM)

    everyone is beautiful. it doesn't matter if she is fat or thin, black or white, small or tall.(Report)Reply

    6 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • CobraKai (5/18/2018 8:33:00 AM)

    Legs and nose: I don't feel so good...(Report)Reply

    11 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • L 0 S S (5/18/2018 8:14:00 AM)

    | ||
    || |_(Report)Reply

    9 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
Read all 74 comments »

# 107 poem on top 500 Poems




Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: candy, pink, magic, woman, nature, happy, smile, women



Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 1, 2004

Poem Edited: Monday, June 6, 2011