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

  • (3/22/2018 10:58:00 AM)


    It's just a toy. Calm down. (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • (3/20/2018 1:13:00 PM)


    I killed myself too after people made fun of my nose (Report) Reply

  • (3/13/2018 10:20:00 AM)


    One does not simply cut one's legs off voluntarily. (Report) Reply

  • (3/7/2018 12:20:00 PM)


    As a parent, it's important to foster healthy communication skills with your daughter, so she lets you know how she feels about her legs and you can cut them off for her (Report) Reply

  • (3/6/2018 6:53:00 AM)


    I STRIVE TO BE LIKE THE WOMEN IN THIS POEM (Report) Reply

  • (2/8/2018 4:19:00 PM)


    yeah Ms.Budson, tell em (Report) Reply

  • (2/8/2018 4:13:00 PM)


    this nigga deserved it (Report) Reply

  • (2/8/2018 3:51:00 PM)


    yo fuck this nigga. this stupid cuck best cut off those fat ass pieces of meat she calls legs. hell yeah she cut off that fugly nose too. she did the earth a damn favor. (Report) Reply

    (2/20/2018 1:26:00 PM)

    I told ya Tommy

    (2/16/2018 12:54:00 PM)

    She. Must. Be. Stopped. *Slamming Desk with Fists*

    (2/16/2018 12:51:00 PM)

    I SUPPORT YOU

  • (5/2/2017 1:22:00 PM)


    Yeah, I know. But it's also a major injustice teens everywhere are facing today. Sadly, yes, some of us succumb to the cruelty, thinking of the freedom in death, when in reality, there is no freedom, it's just a crueler place to be free. Not true freedom, a lavish, lonely cell. My hope is that when people read this, they feel sad about the few that succumb, but also strong, and feel the desire to help, and not succumb, and pull others out of the quicksand that is self-harm. Stay strong, my friends. I can only wish with a heavy heart, that if someone replies to this, it will be out of gratitude, not as a farewell message, an invitation to the beyond.

    I wish you all the best
    -Harper, Age 13
    (Report) Reply

    (2/8/2018 4:14:00 PM)

    bitch ima kill myself

  • (4/15/2016 11:39:00 AM)


    OKAY, HOW MANY TIMES IN THIS ENGLISH CLASS DO I HAVE TO READ ABOUT CHILDREN COMMITTING SUICIDE? CHILDREN WHO SOUND LIKE ME? I HAD THOSE SAME THINGS TOLD ME ME, SAID ABOUT ME, AND YES I'M SAD, BUT I'M ALSO GROWING OVER IT. WHY DOES EVERYTHING HAVE TO END IN EVERYONE KILLING THEMSELVES? AM I NO SAD ENOUGH WITHOUT READING THIS ALL THE TIME? ! CAN WE PLEASE HAVE A POEM WHERE THERE'S SOME SMALL REVOLT, WHERE THE PROTAGONIST OVERCOMES IT, WHERE SHE FINDS SOME STRENGTH WITHIN HERSELF? Just once, I want to read something that doesn't end in a cruel and unjust death. Yes, I know the point the poem is trying to make. However, it inspires no change in women. It only tells us that we cannot overcomes society's barriers to freedom. (Report) Reply

    (11/22/2017 8:38:00 PM)

    this is reality hunty.....it's poetry...

    (7/17/2016 1:13:00 PM)

    Read Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou. I hope it helps.

  • (1/1/2016 5:46:00 AM)


    Tragic result when women are socialized to value a narrow range of attributes as being attractive or acceptable. The minature stoves and irons, the wee lipstick mentioned early in the poem introduce two important values: small size and domesticity. The stove, iron and lipstick are wee and cutsey compared with the big nose and fat legs. Cutsey wins. Another jab at the domesticated women is her reference to stove and iron, both useful appliances but when applied can burn as well. And, at the end of the day, the woman is toast. (Report) Reply

  • Susan Williams (11/1/2015 12:26:00 PM)


    Hard-hitting indictment of society's worship of outer beauty (Report) Reply

    (1/1/2016 5:52:00 AM)

    Yes, which makes healthy self acceptance and self worth difficult

  • (11/16/2014 5:06:00 AM)


    A sad reminder of this cruel, unjust and discriminating world.....very well presented.........amazing piece (Report) Reply

  • (11/16/2014 1:02:00 AM)


    A sad thing of events to the girl child and unnecessary apprehensions made to her mind by fellows which is a happening in the modern day and it makes so much problems in one's life that I think. Beautifully told an event. (Report) Reply

  • (5/18/2014 6:36:00 PM)


    I find it to be so incredibly sad that people, especially women, are made to feel that they can't just be who they are. To be attractive from what's on the inside. It's a great poem but a very, very sad sad world we live in. (Report) Reply

  • (3/22/2014 6:18:00 AM)


    Wow! Great poem. Very deep and touching! Your use of words to describe the reality of society's perception on image· (Report) Reply

  • Lyn Paul (11/16/2013 7:03:00 PM)


    Wonderful words wriiten here. I would much prefer to look at a face full of character and expression then to look at one that has no flaws. Very moving and thought provoking. (Report) Reply

    (1/1/2016 6:08:00 AM)

    That face full of character and expression has more life than the one modeled after television spokespersons with plastic teeth and hair extensions. They are all begining to look alike.

    (1/1/2016 6:02:00 AM)

    I like your comment. That face full of character and expression has more life than replicants trying to model themselves after television personalities with their plastic teeth and hair extensions. They are begining to look more and more like each other.

    (1/1/2016 5:59:00 AM)

    I appreciate your comment. The face full of character and expression that you mention has so much more life than the manufactured appearance of women who are trying their darndest to replicate an image in a magazine or one on television. With their plastic teeth and hair extension, they all look alike.

  • Husna Amin (11/16/2013 11:34:00 AM)


    Excellent is the word! the reality really hits you hard... (Report) Reply

  • (11/16/2013 6:29:00 AM)


    Omigawsh this is really deep and dark. Really unfortunate how this is the reflection of our societies. (Report) Reply

  • Krishnakumar Chandrasekar Nair (11/16/2013 4:31:00 AM)


    Normal girls are now so hard to find
    As each wants to walk the ramp of fame
    Starving to exhibit the missing curves
    All to make money or just a name.....

    Excellent poem I welcome all to my page too fro your valuable comments...
    (Report) Reply

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



Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 1, 2004

Poem Edited: Monday, June 6, 2011


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