When I wrote this poem, I didn’t know about the tattoo, the relationship dramas with darling Ken or even all the details of the 126 (and counting) careers Barbie has applied for with her ‘can do’ attitude. Except, maybe it is a ‘can be’ attitude which somehow suggests to me more of acting the role of, rather than rolling up her sleeves and doing the hard slog. Sells more outfits I suppose.
Once again, apologies to any (any?) reader who may be inadvertently offended by the following lines. I am aiming to poke fun at the doll and the marketing, not any earnest folk undertaking these roles in er, real life.
Barbie, Icon of our Dreams
if you were a feminist, in suit and tie
or a plumber in overalls,
would you wear pink?
can a plaything be a feminist person?
all our hate and frustration is
focussed on you, small plastic
if you can’t have it all –
hairy armpits, purple stubble,
the lesbian lover
the broken-hearted Ken
and the PhD in gender implications at the Quantum Point
what hope do we have?
the pink Cadillac
If I were cyber-savvy, I would have Bruce Springsteen playing while you read and a nice photo shoot of appropriate cars, but I don’t know the copyright protocols of ‘borrowing’ images or sound clips on the cyber-sea, so can only ask that you imagine these accompaniments.