Tuesday, June 10, 2008

We are fearfully and wonderfully made...

Barbie Doll by Marge Piercy

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.
Then in the magic of puberty, a classmate said:
You have a great big nose and fat legs.

She was healthy, tested intelligent,
possessed strong arms and back,
abundant sexual drive and manual dexterity.
She went to and fro apologizing.
Everyone saw a fat nose on thick legs.

She was advised to play coy,
exhorted to come on hearty,

exercise, diet, smile and wheedle.
Her good nature wore out

like a fan belt.
So she cut off her nose and her legs

and offered them up.

In the casket displayed on satin she lay
with the undertaker's cosmetics painted on,
a turned-up putty nose,
dressed in a pink and white nightie.
Doesn't she look pretty? everyone said.
Consummation at last.
To every woman a happy ending.

I knew a girl who became a nun and she wasn't allowed to use a mirror. Even though this rule seems a bit restrictive to me, there is something sort of liberating about it. I am so glad that God values me because I am his kid...a simple enough concept as I type it here, but I must continually drill it into my thick, thick, Americanized noggin.