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The Bluest Eye Toni Morrison Essay

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Society, especially western, conceptualizes beauty through the use of publicity and cinema. We are under constant bombardment from consumer related magazine ads, billboards, television commercials, and movies about what “beautiful” people look like and how we should imitate them. This standard is overwhelmingly portrayed as white beauty. Starting from a young age this standard of beauty is forged in our minds; we want to look like these actors and models; we want to be thin, fit, youthful looking, have a symmetrical face and possibly even posses a particular race. We accept this beauty standard; we notice our various faults among ourselves and self-critique. We try to emulate the models as best we can and we fail to realize that these standards are not reality. Publicity models and the most popular actors do not represent the majority of us and it is a foolish and unattainable dream to attempt to change ourselves to their beauty. The pressure society puts on us can cause low self-esteem and diseases such as anorexia. But most importantly is causes us to lose touch with what is real and what is not. In Morrison’s novel we look at the antithesis of our society’s conception of this white beauty standard, our minorities. Presenting this beauty standard to its polar opposites is more than racist, it is destructive to their community by creating resentment, low self-esteem, and a perverse hierarchy where minorities judge themselves and others based on their proximity to the white beauty standard. In The Bluest Eye, Morrison critiques the white beauty standard that causes the black minority to feel a destructive self-hatred towards themselves and their fellow blacks. Their self-perception is an unrealistic and unattainable b...


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... natural beauty and personalities long before we adopt an artificial beauty standard that is presented to us by publicities and films.





Bibliography
Bump , Jerome. "Racism and Appearance in The Bluest Eye: A Template for an Ethical Emotive Criticism." College Literature 37.2 (2010): 147-170.

Cormier-Hamilton , Patrice. "Black Natrualism and Toni Morrison: The Journey away from Self-Love in The Bluest Eye." Oxford Journals 19.4 (1994): 109-127.

Klotman, Phyllis. "Dick-and-Jane and the Shirley Temple Sensibility in the Bluest Eye." African American Review 13.4 (1979): 123-125.

Walther, Malin LaVon. "Out of Sight: Toni Morrison's Revision of Beauty." African American Review 24.4 (1990): 775-789.

Dove Real Beauty Sketches. Dir. John X. Carey. Perf. Gil Zamora. Ogilvy & Mather Ad Agency, 2013. Online.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=litXW91UauE



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