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The Barbie Slasher

Hannah Jerming-Havill

‘The theme here is the mutilation of young girls … the doll symbolizes a child’
– Dr Fred Berlin, Chicago Tribune, February 11th 1993

Did you read the Tuscaloosa News
in January 1993?
Below the weather report,
above the lottery,
was an article on an incident
in the Erie city Sandusky.
The Press urged the Public
to be on their watch
for a psychotic, perhaps
schizophrenic, outlaw
frequenting their malls:
A Slasher on the prowl
on K-Mart’s greasy floors.

The Experts profiled a male,
an obsessive-compulsive/uncanny personality
manifesting striking/savage volatility
due to repressed/oppressed hostility
against the doll/symbol of women/children.

Did the professors of psychology
let it slip their mind
that these attacks could be acts
of political protest?
After all, let’s not forget
the Slasher’s target was Barbie.

If this plastic beauty ideal
swelled into real flesh
she would need rings of steel
to support her flaccid neck.
Her toddler sized feet
would have her crawling on all fours,
it would hardly be her voluptuous chest
that would be turning heads.
No space in her skinny waist
where vital organs belong.
Barbie would be dead.

I wonder what the FBI would have said
if we’d been melting the arms and legs
of plastic G. I. Joes instead?

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