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The Limited Edition Platinum Barbie

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In the poem "The Limited Edition Platinum Barbie" Denise Duhamel compares and contrasts an actual woman and Barbie. Duhamel also shows how society base what perfection is by one set individual. Back in the day Marilyn Monroe was said to be the perfect woman and that everyone else should look like her in order to be beautiful. In stanza one the poet elaborates by saying, Ever since Marilyn Monroe bleached her hair so that it would photograph better under the lights, Bob Mackie wanted to do the same for Barbie (1, 2, 3, and 4). At the time in order for Barbie to be this dream woman he made her look similar to Marilyn. In the poets eyes Barbie was the woman most people wanted to be but never could.

In line 1, 2, 3, and 4, the poet is telling the reader that Barbie's hair was dyed in order to be photographed better. The poet goes on to describe Barbie's appearance that day at the photo shoot. Now here she is, a real fashion illustration, finally a model whose legs truly make up more than half her height. The gown is whit, and the hair more silver than Christmas, swept up in a high pouf of intricate twists. In the next few lines the poet goes on to say to Barbie is less of a diva than real models and that she hasn't the first flaw. Less demanding than Diana Ross or Cher, Barbie has fewer flaws to hide. No plastic surgery scars, no temper tantrums when Mackie's bugle heads don't hang just right. Then the poet emphasizes how small Barbie is, how great her body is shaped, and how difficult it would be to make the same gown made for her for a human; especially a woman larger than a size eight. Calvin Klein won't design certain styles for any women larger than size eight. He "doesn't do upholstery" is the way he likes to put it. So imagine Bob Mackie's thrill of picking up this wisp of a model, Barbie weighing less than a quart of milk. The irony of the situation is that the poet and Mackie treat Barbie as if she is an actual human by saying Barbie basically is his favorite client - poised, ladylike, complying. The poem is saying that in order to be the hottest woman you have to act like Barbie, be like Barbie, and look like Barbie. In a weird way people in the world actually do base their looks upon looking like Barbie.

Collectors can pay in four monthly installments of $38.50 and have Barbie delivered to their home. Others can go to Mackie's display at FAO Schwartz, the most expensive toy store in New York, to remind themselves of who they'll never be, of what they'll never have. In this stanza it is saying that in order for a human to look like Barbie she would have to pay. But no matter how much money you pay or whatever you try to do, you can never look or be like Barbie.

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