In the poem "Barbie Doll", Marge Piercy talks about and explains the expectations of women in society. This poem was written in 1973, but it is still very relatable to society today. Self-hatred is probably worse now than it was then.
"Barbie Doll" shows how we are taught from a young age what is expected of us. "Presented dolls that did pee-pee and miniature GE stoves and irons and wee lipsticks the color of cherry candy." Marge Piercy pg. 352. It states that we need to wear makeup to look or be pretty. Girls are supposed to play with dolls and play kitchens. It explains how we are taught our duties from a young age, to cook and clean and look pretty while we are doing it. A barbie doll has blonde hair, blue eyes, and a perfect body.
The girl in the poem is happy and healthy. She does not see anything wrong with herself until someone points it out to her. Usually, a child does not pay attention to what they look like, but when girls become adolescents and their bodies start to change they start paying more attention to themselves "Then in the magic of puberty, a classmate said: You have a great big nose and fat legs." Marge Piercy pg. 352. Girls begin to wonder how are they really supposed to look. They put pressure on themselves. Young girls are very vulnerable. When girls are at that age they do not realize that we are all made differently and it is okay to not look like what society's idea of "perfect" is. No one has prefect skin and hair or a perfect body. .
"She was advised to play coy" Marge Piecry pg. 352. So, the expression "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me" comes into play. Even though she knows what people think of her and what they see when they look at her, she is told to ignore it and pretend like she does not know. Words can hurt "Her good nature wore out like a fan belt" Marge Piercy pg.