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Marge Piercy's Barbie Doll as an Accurate Response to Gender Roles - Research Paper Example

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Your F. 21 April 2012 Barbie Doll When considering the poem, “Barbie Doll” by author Marge Piercy, there is a short contemporary explanation of a woman's strife of wanting to look perfect. Just like any other person, a girl is born and plays with dolls just like any most other girls, one that just so happens to have qualities that are considered beautiful such as the perfect body and cherry red lips…
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Marge Piercys Barbie Doll as an Accurate Response to Gender Roles
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Download file to see previous pages Again, people could not look past her large nose and fat legs to see all of these wonderful qualities (Piercy). While the article's character was encouraged to work on herself, she began to wear down mentally, feeling ugly. She was adequate in all other ways except for her looks. In the end, she killed herself, cutting off the parts of her that made her ugly. The funeral home put her back together for her open casket ceremony with a little nose and she was dressed up. The people at last at the nerve to compliment that she looked pretty. Everything that she had so longed for in life was now how others saw her in death. It was something she had always wanted and it ended in vanity (Piercy). By this little model that symbolizes beauty, Piercy's character experienced a decrease in self worth and a belief that beauty tops all other attributes that are positive such as intelligence and health. When considering this poem initially, the first thoughts that pop up are the fact that all girls have dreams. While many are successful in many aspects, beauty and glamour in a woman are inevitably what a little girl wants. A woman is influenced by everything around her as people are constantly influenced by the media of what a real woman should look like. Any person over a certain size or a woman that is muscular is considered too thick. Being thin and perfect in appearance is what women are looking for. If women were looking for something else, they would not spend so much money on clothes, shoes, false eyelashes, hair dye and other things that make them prettier. Barbies have typical features that a little girl would expect to possess if she were considered to be pretty. While Piercy's character has other attributes, the ones that are focused on are the physical ones. This provides an example of the pressures put on a woman that magnifies society's perception of what feminine beauty and attractiveness is. While the doll's description of having a “pee-pee,” Robert Perrin, whom also discussed this poem thinks that this terminology was used almost symbolically because it is a more feminine and less vulgar way of describing the Barbie's genitalia (Perrin 83). Another part of the poem in question is the way that the character handled herself by eliminating the parts of her body she disliked the most. Before her own ceremony of a funeral, “she cut off her nose and legs and offered them up,” (Piercy) which is rather a graphic display of how the character changed her appearance. It was described in a violent and shocking manner so as to imply that plastic surgery was never an option. Maybe she was doing this ceremonially as Perrin implies so that she does not have to live up to the standards that are pressured upon her such as the ones that the doll possess (Perrin 83). While the undertaker fixed up the corpse for mourners to see, she had been given a nose that was presentable. In addition, she wore a pink nightie as described by Piercy. It is almost as though ironically that in death, she was more so dressed up as Barbie in a way that she always had wanted to be. She was dolled up in a perfect little dress with a reconstructed nose so that she would be more appealing to those looking at her in the casket (Perrin 84). For visitors to her funeral to compliment her ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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