Tuesday, October 25, 2011

"Life as a Girl"

[The righteous rant is an oft-neglected poetic genre in the contemporary poetry scene, but Barbie Angell positively owns it here!  Funny, sad & right-on throughout—enjoy!] 
Life as a Girl

Lately I’ve been breaking off all over the room,
so if you’re going to visit, you’ll want to bring a broom.
And I guess that I should let you know, I’m a little bit confused,
but I’m sure you won’t be bothered, most people seem amused.

See, sometimes I still see myself as this brilliant, sweet young girl,
until somebody mentions how I look upon the world.
Yeah, jaded is my color now, I must look great in green.
But I’m afraid I’m being bitter, and I’m scared I’m being mean.

So bring a good strong vacuum with when you want to come on by,
so you can suck up where I’ve broken off while I drink and smoke and cry.
Yeah, it’s fun for everybody, a smashing good old time.
Did I mention that I smash things while I scream and yell and whine?

I can tell just what you’re thinking.  How did I end up like this?
And really, more importantly, are you, yourself at risk?
Well I know just how it started.  I can pinpoint that sad day
when a stranger sauntered up to me and I didn’t know what to say.

So I started to get worried, and I pondered and I thought.
I used to know just who I was, but I guess I just forgot.
So I looked for help from others, you know, girls about my age,
I guess I wanted references.  Some sort of “woman” gauge.

And I watched all of their TV shows and I read all of their books,
and I started to get worried about the way I really looked.
From that point on I lost it.  And I tried so fucking hard,
but I’m too poor to be a woman, for new clothes and a perky car.

That’s when I succumbed to all the Pretty People lies,
like I’ll never be truly confident unless I have thinner thighs.
And I questioned what my value was without the perfect dress,
and would I ever get that far with these preteen, tiny breasts?

And who do I go asking then?  And why would they ever care?
‘Cause my bible’s name was Cosmo and no one heard my prayers.
I soon tired of the life I led, and the low-cal, fat-free food.
I was sick of my appearance and my weary-broken mood.

I couldn’t listen anymore about why my wardrobe’s wrong,
or that some fantastic makeup will make me beautiful and strong.
Now I’m boycotting the companies who can’t do ads without nude chicks,
do they think that I won’t buy their shoes unless I see a little tit?

I don’t want another sleazy ad by Hardee’s and Diet Coke.
All I’m offered is body work when it’s my engine that is broke.
Why does society do this to their women and their girls?
And what do you do as a rag doll when you live in a Barbie doll world?

Barbie Dockstader Angell
© 2009-present


  1. I thoroughly enjoyed that. Perhaps one shouldn't enjoy a righteous rant : but what the hell it was well written and well said.

  2. thank you. :) i find it helpful to get on my little soapbox sometimes. this one always goes over well when i perform it....especially when my gig is in a bar. :)

  3. I loved that one Barbie dahling.

    I was talking about something similar yesterday...the L'oreal commercial with Diane Keaton...even though it doesn't LOOK like Diane Keaton...where are her fabulous wrinkles and wise face?...airbrushed and wiped away to where she is not even recognizable...I dumped a lot of miracle skin care yesterday...fed up.

  4. thank you karen. :) yep, i know exactly the commercial you're talking about. she's so lovely in real life, but she almost looks like animation in that commercial. *sigh* that is one reason i love the movie "It's Complicated." Steve Martin tells Meryl Streep (who has the choice to get a facelift & decides against it) her age is one of his favorite things about her. :) ....plus, it's Steve Martin saying it.

  5. That was very good! And to the point by being from a very personal framework. Advertisers try to do the same to men, but men usually see external things as improving their 'self worth' so we

    buy cool cars and things like that. How rough it must be tho to have your 'never good enough' gland tied to your body image!

  6. aw, thank you zen. :) yep, body image & self-worth seem to be tied to advertising....at least for women. and i'm sure you're right, unfortunately, that men don't have it any easier. clothes, cars, the manly man image or trying to be Alan Alda or James Dean. i hope i teach my son to be happy with who he is & not worry what everyone else thinks of him....and i hope i succeed. :)

  7. Hi Alan, Karen, Zen & Barbie

    Alan: What's a righteous rant if it's not fun too? Thanks!

    Karen: Thanks so much for dropping by!

    Zen: Always a pleasure when you stop by--thanks!

    Barbie: Thanks once again, my friend, for what you bring to the blog :)

  8. my pleasure john. :) thanks for having my work on here. by the way, i guess i didn't mention, the drawing is a self-portrait from when i was mostly bald. hence the short hair. :)

  9. Well, this girl can pen a good poem. That has to count for a lot.

  10. Hi Martin: You bet! Barbie Angell is a very good poet; I'm so lucky to have her as a contributor to this blog!

  11. sweet, thank you martin. :) i'm so glad you thought it was good. i love performing this piece, it's rather theatrical in nature which makes it so much fun to do.

    thanks again and thank you john. :)

  12. Reading this poem brought a bittersweet smile to me, and I'm thankful to have visited today, discovering someone who puts into poetic words feelings I've experienced myself.

  13. thank you so much enchanted oak. :) i have a fair amount of poetry on this site and i also have poetry, reviews, satire & such on my website - www.barbieangell.com - if you'd like to read more. i'm happy you stopped by as well and especially happy that you commented. it's wonderful to hear that my words make sense to other people. :)

    thanks again.

  14. Rag doll in a Barbie world - a great closing line.

    You capture that feeling in the poem - someone worrying about this body part or that one.. and knowing that it doesn't have to be that way and wasn't always that way. Remembering a time when they were kids and it never even occurred to them to think of these things. It doesn't help that other people can behave hideously about it, with insults and snide remarks.

  15. thank you hkatz. :) self-esteem is such a tricky thing when dealing with the standards society puts on us. it's amazing that we allow it to happen. most of what causes this is advertising and the media and we have the power to change it if we want to. i haven't eaten at a hardee's in over 10 years. from the very first time i saw one of their inappropriate commercials using soft core porn to sell burgers. i won't let my child eat there either since that would be telling him i approve. that's just me though. i think debasing women to sell fast food is deplorable. i think selling thong underwear for little girls is atrocious. not having girls who are normal sized get the lead on tv shows or movies. it isn't the same with men. look at all those sitcoms with overweight, balding men....and tiny little pretty wives with at least average-sized boobs. *sigh* it's tough being a girl. then again, the boys have their own societal issues to deal with too.

    sorry to ramble on. :) thanks again, i'm glad you enjoyed it.

  16. Hi HKatz & Barbie

    HKatz: Thanks for stopping by & for your usual perceptive & thoughtful comments!

    Barbie: Total agreement with that--not at all going on too long. I like what you have to say.


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