Accessories Not Included

FEU Advocate
June 28, 2024 19:06

This Malibu Barbie is perfectly palatable and marketable,
I smile, I wave, my plastic heart beats in a practiced, solemn rhythm.
Factory-assembled doll parts stay far from remarkable,
Commercials run on my apparent submission or skill in the kitchen.
From bend and snap to fully articulate, it’s not me.

How easy is it for animal-lovin’ Ken and his pals?
Shallow machismo in place of emotions they’ve suppressed.
Will I join his cardboard box just because I don’t wanna be one of the gals?
A need to interchange my head with his body going unaddressed.
From board shorts to glitter pants, it’s still not me.

Perhaps I’ll consider joining the well-dressed freaks and monsters,
The unexploitable sinister style, mystery with a smile.
I’m a they or them, never a her or him—I bring glittery terrors.
Destroy the color-coded shelves, even if it makes me an exile.
What about a Frankenstein of pinks and blues? Maybe that’s really me.

- Beatrice Diane D. Bartolome

(Illustration by Elysse Nicolle Duller/FEU Advocate)