The first stanza describes girl’s childhood: “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” (lines 1-4).
Thus, the poet underlines the girl’s typical nature.
The word “putty” denotes “any of various substances for sealing the joints of tubes or pipes, composed of linseed oil with red lead, white lead, iron oxide, etc.” Is not that ironic that a human face is equaled with tubes or pipes?
Through such a comparison, the poet seems to underline once more the vainness of artificial beauty.
The word “wee” in the fourth line of the first stanza is defined by as “very small.” However, it can also mean “urine” or “to urinate,” and it is very likely that with the fourth line, Marge Piercy wants to prove futility of cosmetics, which is nothing but an artificial mask on a woman’s face.
The lines of the second stanza tell the reader that the girl is intelligent, skillful, and even possesses “sexual drive.” The phrase “the magic of puberty” infers “the powerful and extraordinary nature of the emotional and hormonal changes that transform her from a girl into a young woman capable of bearing children” (Wart 1).
"Her good nature wore out like a fan belt" (15-16) symbolizes this loss of self and a change in the girl's attitude.
As a result of compromising or losing her true self to the demands of society, the young girl/woman is confronted with the realization that living this "fake" existence has left her lonely, empty, and in pain.
The poem is full of rich imagery, which perfectly helps Piercy to get her message across.
The most vivid image is a Barbie doll that becomes personified and stands for a model of an “ideal” traditional woman, who is supposed to be nothing but a colored housewife.