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Final Term Paper copy - Dr Leiby English 1B 10 May 2007...

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Dr. Leiby English 1B 10 May 2007 Term Paper: Final Draft Stay Young, Stay Beautiful Along with hair, attitude, and body odor, the amazing journey of age, and puberty introduce numerous issues that many growing children encounter. As young girls and boys reach the teenage years, appearance has a major influence on social aspects. With the rapid changing sound of past and future decades, teenagers will change role models, music preference, or clothing style. With these models, children are progressively becoming identical, and portraying a common interest; therefore, for females at least, shaping into Barbie dolls. Effects of the pressures of mass media, and group beliefs lead to the oppression of non- conformers or the loss of hope to obtain happiness and acceptance. The poem “Barbie Doll” by Marge Piercy exposes the effects of these conforming ideas on a young, intelligent girl who does not quite fit the standards of societies’ beauty ideal. The idea of beauty, formed by society, is awfully confined to the expected obedience of women to men, and therefore transforms girls to become shaped into modifiable, pleasurable figures. The cycle of life is comprised of the same stages it has been for countless years. There is childhood, which is full of carefree, socially-unaffected fun. “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” (Piercy 1-4). The opening statements of the poem build the foundation of future adaptation for young women into a controlling society. The author mentions life-like dolls, which the young girls take care of, and also the household appliances,
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the iron and stove, form the idea that their adulthood will revolve around child and house care. The cherry flavor strengthens the innocence and age of the children. Even with the innocence of cherry flavor, the lipstick supports the press on of the beauty ideal on girls at early stages. Then following is adolescence and adulthood, in which the skills introduced to the young girls are set in motion. With the redundant journey of life, it is safe to assume that most people at one point have come across the issue of beauty, or society’s idea of the idolized beauty. The unnamed character in “Barbie Doll” is a victim of the oppressive force of the beauty idealists, and must choose a way to cope with the abuse and oppression. With the combination of peer pressure, and the longing for acceptance, she surrenders, as do most teens in the heat of the pre- adolescence. “Her good nature wore out / like a fan belt” (15-16). Piercy uses the image of a fan belt to illustrate the effects of oppression on the good-will and perseverance of any victim.
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