The Essay Analysis of Barbie Doll

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Pages: 6

The Devastation of Social Pressure

One would think that growing up would be a fun, not a worry in the world, happy experience. Yes, that is the way it should be, but that’s not always the case, especially for women. As girls season into women they realize they not only have to face the fact that they’re in a patriarchal society, but also the influences and pressure they face in the social aspect of things, such as their looks and body image. There is so much competition amongst girls, especially when transitioning into a woman and through most of their adulthood. So instead of being able to enjoy life and absorbing the true quality of it, we are side tracked with superficial, stereotypical, shallow thoughts and images of how we think
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No matter what she sees in the mirror or what she hears, this won’t change her opinion about herself image. She has been brainwashed about her looks and she doesn’t think she is good enough. She goes around apologizing to everyone about the person she has become, believing there is no way she can change, at least in a healthy manner.
In the third stanza we read how society is forcing the woman to change her healthy ways, physically, into something she isn’t. She does what she can to fit into society by, “…play[ing] coy/ exhorted to come on hearty/ exercise, diet, smile and wheedle” (12-14). She had so much pressure from every direction, she felt obligated to try and conform her body into what society viewed as ideal, which we know of as the Barbie doll toy. This idea was short lived. Instead of standing her grounds and accepting the individual that she is, she drowns. Society got the best of her, “Her good nature wore out/ like a fan belt” (15-16). She gave up and paid the ultimate price to be accepted in society, “…she cut off her nose and her legs/ and offered them up” (17-18).Now that she has removed her flaws she temporarily relinquishes her depression, weakness, and anxiety. Now that she has met the, impossible, unrealistic, standard, she can permanently wash her existences away and leave her shell of beauty behind.
In the final Stanza, Piercy highlights the theme of the poem. Simply put, women aren’t