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‘Barbie-Doll Beauty’ A Poem About Unrealistic Beauty Standards

2 min read

by Priyadarshini Panchapakesan 

Barbie was first,
she was created by man,

strands of golden hair,

porcelain skin,

curvy hips,

and magnanimous breasts.

His creation was not bad,

but every woman had to be that doll.

This was beauty he said,

and those who opposed,

lacked beauty, lacked grace,

lacked the skill to look that way.

Yet, some women did protest, and asked, “Why do I have to be that way?”

and asked, “Why do I have to be that way?”

“Why do I have to be that way?”

Man rubbed his palms together,

out came an evil laugh, His inner voice

His inner voice said “For if these women

stand together, stand united, that would be the defeat of man.”

His outer voice said,

the answer was simple,

like Darwin says,

“Natural selection.”

For only beauty was eternal,

for only beauty survived.

Beauty created by man was set,

imprints were tattooed,

in magazines, photos,

and every street saloon.

Every woman must be that way.

To stop petty protests,

swipe away rebels,

man created Ken,

and no man had to be that way.

No one could naturally look like her.

Get that skin, those lips,

and curvy hips.

They had to fight,

cotton soaked in juice,

became their meals.

Flesh was cut open,

remove fat,

add swollen breasts,

diminish spots,

through laser swipes.

Every woman was transformed,

to a Barbie doll,

for this was the only way,

to get love,

they pined for.

For love and beauty,

became one and the same.

No woman has to be a Barbie doll.

She is not made,

using tools and screws,

she is not created,

with pen and ink,

to change into,

something she is not.

She will stand for who she is.

Plump hips,

or tiny breasts,

dark skin,

or thin lips,

and that will be her beauty,

for she doesn’t need a man

to tell her what beauty is.

[Read Related: Beauty Blogger Jasmin Rahman Proves Beauty is a Form of Empowerment]


Priyadarshini Panchapakesan - HeadshotPriyadarshini has finished her Bachelor’s degree in English Literature and is interested in writing articles, poetry and short stories on discrimination, gender bias, patriarchy, caste, and class.