Piercy's Barbie Doll - Book Report/Review Example

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Summary
In Piercy's poem "Barbie Doll," author creates a very dark tone as she reflects on the ideal of beauty in today's modern age. Many have argued that our standards of beauty today are far too harsh and impossible. There is a trend toward unhealthful skinniness in girls, for instance, for them to be deemed "beautiful." This is reiterated whenever when picks up an US or OK magazine at the grocery market (or even when one just reads the headlines while standing in line)…
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Piercys Barbie Doll
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"Piercy's Barbie Doll"

Download file to see previous pages These pictures remove this comma and the pictures of flawless (airbrushed) women in magazine and television ads reinforce this ideal.
Of course, because of genetics, many women cannot achieve this standard-they simply weren't born for it, but this does not mean that they should be ill treated. Still, there has been a history of looking down or making fun of the overweight in this country, and we certainly get that feeling from "Barbie Doll." A recent movie actually displays a very similar theme-the movie Fat Girl: the main character, Anais, feels herself constantly competing with her pretty, attractive, older sister Elena. Elena certainly gets more attention from the young boys, and this seems to depress Anais in the movie because she is short of the standardized idea of beauty and thus she does not get attention like her sister. Her feelings, then, echo the concept of the feelings presented in "Barbie Doll," and therefore, allow the readers to see that Piercy's poem has a theme that transcends throughout the modern day concept of beauty.
In order to gain an understanding of how these two characters are similar, it is important to examine the thoughts behind each one. First, "Barbie Doll" appears to be a very intelligent, healthy woman-however, she apparently lacks the thinness required for one to be dubbed beautiful. She, in fact, gets teased and bullied for this fact. The bullying creates a desire in her to meet the ideal standard of beauty, but it seems she is simply not cut out to attain this. She is told: "You have a great big nose and fat legs" (Piercy line I, vi). Many people have this issue, and it is often a result of genetics. As a result, she winds up dying, and she finally gets a compliment about her looks while she lays in her casket; "Doesn't she look pretty (Piercy III, v) darkly tells us that the "Barbie Doll" has thus been vindicated. There is an ironic twist at the end of the poem that tells us all women will get this sort of compliment in death and get the same vindication.
In comparison, the character in the movie Fat Girl, Anais, also struggles with the modern concept of beauty. She is confronted daily with the fact that her sister is beautiful, and interacting (sexually and in conversation) with boys. Anais takes second stage to her younger sister. She thus demonstrates a desire to become more attractive, and to become more like her sister. One night comma her sister is actually experimenting with a partner while Anais is sleeping in the same bed. This, in fact, happens often throughout the movie to her. Because of her loneliness, Anais winds up crying herself to sleep.
To many individuals looking at Anais may be perplexed about why she would want to be anything like her sister, who seems very sexually active. However, if we think back to what it was like to be a teenager, looks and flirtation were some of the most important everyday accomplishments. Therefore, Anais, like the "Barbie Doll," is forced to wish she fit the ideal of beauty.
Much research exists to reinforce the concepts presented in this movie and poem. An article entitled "The Stereotypes of Black and White Women in Fashion" discusses how modeling and fashion portray women, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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