Tuesday, March 06, 2007

On Barbie Dolls

I have not found if it is legal to post a part of a poem here, but as it is for the purposes of discussion I'm going to do it and then delete it if it turns out to be illegal. The poem is by Margaret Atwood and titled "The Female Body" (from the collection Good Bones and Simple Murders), and this is the excerpt I want to quote:

He said, I won't have one of those things in the house. It gives a young girl a false notion of beauty, not to mention anatomy. If a real woman was built like that she'd fall on her face.

She said, If we don't let her have one like all the other girls she'll feel singled out. It'll become an issue. She'll long for one and she'll long to turn into one. Repression breeds sublimation. You know that.

He said, It's not just the pointy plastic tits, it's the wardrobes. The wardrobes and that stupid male doll, what's his name, the one with the underwear glued on.

She said, Better to get it over with when she's young. he said, All right but don't let me see it.

She came whizzing down the stairs. thrown like a dart. She was stark naked. Her hair had been chopped off, her head was turned back to front, she was missing some toes and she'd been tattooed all over her body with purple ink, in a scroll-work design. She hit the potted azalea, trembled there for moment like a botched angle, and fell.

He said, I guess we're safe.