Post- Magazine

bye "Barbie" [narrative]

an adaptation of Virginia Woolf's "Death of the Moth"

TW: body image

Her eyes were a bright, beautiful blue, just like the sky. 

Her hair was perfectly blonde, like the golden rays of sunshine. 


Her skin was pale, a milky and pure complexion. 

The plastic doll was propped up against my wall, her arms precisely positioned on her hips to highlight her slender waist. Her body was curvy, but not so curvy that she looked anything more than slender. She had long, lean legs and small, delicate arms, accentuated by her striped knee-length skirt and sleeveless top. Her smile was undeniably gorgeous—soft, genuine—and her gleaming white teeth contrasted nicely with the pastel pink lipstick on her lips. Her body language expressed a confidence untainted by others’ criticisms. 

She wasn’t worried about what others thought of her, and she probably never would. 

She stared at me with her plastic smile, but something about her seemed real to me. I stared back, trying to imitate the perfect “soft smile” my role model sported. I then carefully put one hand on my hip, paying special attention to exactly how her fingers looked. I was about to place my thumb so that it wrapped around my waist but quickly stopped myself, realizing that would be wrong. The position would push my shoulders back too much, making me seem over-confident. 

No one likes over-confidence. 


I tried again, noticing that her hand was placed flat against the outer edge of her hip flexor, and her shoulders were only slightly back—just far enough to show she had good posture. Placing my shoulders was the most difficult—even when I felt they were pushed back the perfect amount, in the mirror they were either the slightest bit too far forward or too far back. I moved on, attempting to imitate her stance, crossing my right foot neatly over the left with a slight gap between the two. She looked so natural in this position, but I felt like I was walking a tightrope, leaning left and right trying to keep my balance and not end up face down on the floor. 

Her smile seemed almost condescending at this point. 

As though she was laughing at my attempts to be like her. 

I wanted to impress her. 

I ran to my closet and grabbed the nicest skirt, top, and shoes I could find. I loved my outfit, but when I placed myself in front of her, I realized I was no match for her.

I took her into my hands, feeling along her midline for any bumps that would give away her seemingly flat stomach, but I couldn’t find any. I compared my body to hers as I stood in front of the mirror, hoping that she was not too superior to me—that at least some part of me was identical. My arms were slightly bigger and more defined than hers. Her upper body curved in as it approached her small waist; mine had no curve because my waist was too big, my shoulders too wide. 

My overly muscular, “bulky” thighs only stood out more as I held her next to me. Hers were long, lean, and beautiful, clearly not shaped by squats or weights, but rather toned with pilates or yoga.

Even her hands were better than mine. Her fingers were long and smooth, mine rough and battered—my imperfections easily noticeable. 

I took one more look at her face, only to confirm that my nose was far too big and my pimples much too obvious compared to her clear, flawless complexion. 

The real difference was in more obvious physical features. My dark skin, dark hair, and brown eyes were leaps and bounds away from her golden hair, sky blue eyes, and light skin. Regardless of how much white foundation or blonde hair dye I used, I would never look like her.  

She was perfect in every single way. I only dreamed of being like her one day

She started slowly sliding down my wall, her stance not supporting her well enough to stay upright. Her feet slipped forward, and her torso bent slightly allowing her body to begin sinking onto my desk, where she stood. I quickly reached toward her, not wanting her to lose the perfect stance that I had created for her. 

She is my mirror. 

I need her.

I frantically straightened her torso back to its original position and adjusted her head so her chin tilted slightly upward as if to commend me for not letting her—my dear role model—collapse in my sight. 

I tried to fix her stance, placing one foot in front of the other as it was before, but every time, I failed to keep her torso from bending.  

For so long, she was my mirror, the person I wanted to see in my reflection. 

Now, she is slipping away from me. 

My hands begin to tremble as I fidget with her arms, legs, and torso. It is a struggle I have never really encountered before. Completely flawless just minutes before, she now seems to resist my efforts to stand her upright. 

Her perfect stance is gone, now just two feet side by side. 

She has a bent-forward body where her elegant posture used to be. 

Her head is tilted slightly downwards as if to accept defeat. 

This isn’t the Barbie I know.

“It’s alright.” she seemed to say to me. 






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