Barbie Doll Poem by Marge Piercy

Barbie Doll

Rating: 4.1


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.

Barbie Doll
COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Emma Atkins 15 April 2016

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.

89 58 Reply
Meeta Ghosh 17 July 2016

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

13 3
Sophia Gallegos 22 November 2017

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

9 4
tyler 12 February 2021

Ikr its a struggleeeeeee

2 2
Matthew 12 February 2021

reality*

0 1
Sylvia Frances Chan 18 February 2024

FOUR: The girl is immediately trained for her future submissive role as mother and wife. As she enters puberty, the insults of others undermine her self-esteem. Despite possessing wonderful qualities, she is judged solely by perceived "flaws."

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Sylvia Frances Chan 18 February 2024

THREE: She takes us from the birth of the 'girl' who receives a Barbie doll as her first gift, to her school years and finally her tragic death. The poem highlights the exorbitant and absurd expectations placed on young girls.

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Sylvia Frances Chan 18 February 2024

TWO: Throughout the poem, the poetess criticizes the absurd ideals imposed on young girls and the consequences of these rigid gender roles. She confronts society's image of what a woman should be.

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Sylvia Frances Chan 18 February 2024

ONE: Now I start my comment for this poem now: The theme revolves around society's expectations and the impact of gender stereotypes on women.

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Sylvia Frances Chan 18 February 2024

Today I will give more vsion on this poem, first Congratulations on being chosen again by Poem Hunter and Team as The Modern Poem Of The Day.

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Marge Piercy

Marge Piercy

Detroit, Michigan
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