Mattel 1974 (The Chosen One)

English: World Bodypainting Festival Asia . Da...

English: World Bodypainting Festival Asia . Day Two. Nude woman with blonde hair with large bodypainting Deutsch: nackte blonde Frau mit großem Bodypainting (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dear girl,

You take the blame for

So many things.

 

Without questioning

They condemn you,

You are the chosen one:

The ultimate fall girl.

 

But they don’t know you

Like I know you.

 

To me, your beauty pales in

Comparison to your strength.

You are wise beyond your years,

A feminist before your time,

A role model.

 

Still, they tear you down

And make you the scapegoat.

 

You made me believe

That I could

Be anything

Do anything

 

On my own.

 

I could have children.

Or not.

I could love men.

Or not.

Your life didn’t revolve around

This narrow stereotype,

And I learned that mine didn’t have to either.

 

We see what we want to see.

I see strength

Where they see boobs.

I see independence

Where they see blonde hair.

We both see the glamour and beauty—

It’s impossible to ignore and yet—

You’re so much more.

 

If only they would give you a chance,

Get to know you

Like I know you.

Maybe then they would

love you like I love you.

 

But they won’t.

It’s easier to blame you

Than question

And look deeper.

 

And so you will remain

The ultimate fall girl,

The glamourous scapegoat,

The chosen one.

 

–August 2013

 

Notes: I’d like to thank my friend who challenged me to justify and defend my love of the chosen one and inspired me to write this poem. I think too often we are quick to jump on bandwagons that single out one solitary person/place/thing particularly in the areas of body image. As someone who struggled with a significant eating disorder for several years and who still has body image issues, I know that it was not one particular thing that started me down that road. If only it were that easy–to remove that which we have designated as the target. It’s not.

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2 thoughts on “Mattel 1974 (The Chosen One)

  1. First, an apology. I should have taken the time to really read your writing long ago. I can make excuses, but none of them are good enough to justify me missing this.

    Also, shame on me! These entries could have kept me company when I was convinced that there was nothing left on the internet.

    You have challenged me, friend. It is interesting how we see two sides of the same coin so differently. Thanks for sharing your side. I am not trying to be trite – my opinion has not changed – as my relationship with Barbie is as personal as yours… but I like seeing her through your eyes. I think I would have liked her had we met under different circumstances 🙂

    Like

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