Physical Beauty There is a famous saying that states, “ we should not judge a book by its cover”, but oftentimes the first thing noticed on a person is their looks. One’s “physical beauty” strongly influences people’s first impressions of them. As a whole, we tend to assume that pretty people are more likeable and better people than those who are unattractive. Around the world, we believe that what is beautiful is good. There is a general consensus within a culture about what is considered physically appealing and beautiful. “Physical beauty” is associated with being more sociable, intelligent, and even socially skilled. Society shares this common notion of who has and who does not have “physical beauty”. Thus, “physical beauty”, as seen …show more content…
In “The Wife of His Youth”, Mr. Ryder is the dean of the Blue Veins Society, a society that consisted of people who were more white than black. Some of the outsiders stated, “that no one was eligible for membership who was not white enough to show blue veins” (Chesnutt 624). Thus, this created society has established their ideal physical appearance, rejecting those African Americans who had too dark of a complexion to see their veins. Mr. Ryder’s hair almost straight, neatly dressed, eloquent manners, and his moral compass allows him to achieve a position of high social standing. His “physical beauty” and the young beautiful Molly Dixon by his side, solidify his powerful position. He believes this marriage is his social responsibility to “lighten” the race, as a way for mixed-blood to become a part of the white race. Mr. Ryder states, “Mrs. Dixon would help to further the upward process of absorption he had been wishing and waiting for” (Chesnutt 626). He throws a ball in his soon to be wife’s honor, but he only invites the people with the best looks, manners, and complexion. Prior to the ball, his past comes back to haunt him in the form of his wife. She does not recognize him, but he recognizes her. His pursuit of “physical beauty” has led to his destruction and the potential destruction of everything he worked for on his escape from …show more content…
Throughout the Bluest Eye, Claudia is persistently reminded of what society considers beautiful. Every Christmas, she receives a big blue-eyed baby doll that depicts what society considers beautiful. She deeply wants someone to ask her what she wants for Christmas, but instead she merely gets a doll that reminds her of what society considers beautiful. Claudia could not join in on a conversation with Freida and Pecola about how cute Shirley Temple’s dimpled face was because she hated Shirley. However, Pecola just loves Shirley, and she suffers tremendously from these white beauty standards. She believes that if her eyes were beautifully blue, then she would be different. Pecola has associated beauty with being loved, and desperately wants blue eyes to feel the love and respect that she is deprived of without those blue eyes. Once she possesses these blue eyes, she believes she will finally be loved and valued by others. In her world, Pecola desires qualities that are going to cause low self-esteem. She does not see her true beauty because society does not view her as possessing the standard “physical
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
In The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, the narrator Claudia tells the story of a girl named Pecola who dreams to have blue eyes so she can feel beautiful in a white society. At the beginning of the novel, Pecola moves into Claudia’s home and becomes friends with Claudia and Frieda, who is Claudia’s older sister. This particular passage on page nineteen describes the three girls eating and playing together. Using three allusions, Shirley Temple, Bojangles, and Jane Withers, this passage highlights the importance of white beauty to the girls, its emphasis in society, and shows that Claudia is independent.
Introduction In this essay, I will illustrate Charles Waddell Chesnutt’s work “The Wife of His Youth” acts in American literary realism movement, and his attempt of describing his desire of getting rid of racial segregations. There are some points supporting that this story is involved in realism. Firstly, I will focus on slavery, and the transition before the slavery and after. Secondly, I will check Chesnutt’s depiction of black people.
In the essay “What Meets the Eye”, Daniel Akst explains scientific facts about the beauty of men and women matters to people. He argues that attractive individuals receive attention, great social status, marries, and gets paid more on a job. One can disagree with Akst’s argument because anyone with the skills and knowledge, despite the appearance, can gain a decent relationship and can get paid well. Akst looks at beauty as if it can lead individuals to an amazing and successful life, but he is wrong. Nancy Mairs’ and Alice Walker’s views on beauty are explained internally and through self-confidence. Both women’s and Akst’s arguments on beauty share some similarities and differences in many ways, and an
Throughout history, people have placed irrefutable importance on beauty, resulting in the struggle to fit in, and the distraction from individualization. Although cultures apply prominence to different areas, beauty and the fascination of the body remain common threads. Ideally, beauty would be open to interpretation and appreciation no matter where it appeared on the continuum. In her book 'Molly Brown', Margaret Hungerford, a late 19th century novelist, famously suggests, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder." Yes, there is no disputing that different people are drawn to distinct characteristics of people, which is essential for reproduction and acceptance. If we were all inclined to the same characteristic of one's personality or body image,
“The novel addresses the psychological and political implications of black people’s commitment to a standard of beauty (the blonde-haired, blue-eyed ideal)…” (Smith 364). Her desire to have blue eyes was so strong that once she was told her prayers had been granted, she never saw herself the same way again. From that moment on Pecola Breedlove believed that her eyes were blue. The last chapter of The Bluest Eye shows the dialogue between Pecola, and an imaginary figure whom Pecola had created, discussing the blueness of her
We as a society like to believe that everyone is equal, that no matter what you look like you are important to the society. Unfortunately, this is not an accurate belief. We only have to turn on the television or open a magazine to see who are the adored people in our country. However, it is not fair to say that all people buy into these ideals. In The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison captures both sides of society. Pecola and her family represent the part of American society that strives to belong and fit into the stereotypical world. Pecola believes that if she could have blue eyes then she would be accepted. "If she looked different, beautiful, maybe they'd say, 'Why, look at pretty-eyed Pecola. We mustn't do bad things in front of those pretty eyes'" (46). She saw the blue eyes as an answer to everything that was wrong in her life.
After her eyes have experienced her father raping her she can no longer live with having them. She wishes to "rise up out of the pit of her blackness"(174) and see the world with the bluest eyes. Her sanity gives way and she sees the world through what she believes must be the bluest eyes known to man. Pecola no longer sees herself as others do either, for she believes that God has granted her the bluest eyes. The God granted gift of blue eyes is the end of Pecola's sanity and "the damage [is] done total"(204). She is no longer able to see the real world at all, only the veil of the insanity. This veil of insanity is somewhat of a blessing to her for she no longer sees the terrible things she once did. Those watching her from the real world used her pain and ugliness to glorify themselves. Pecola's wish for blue eyes came true at the cost of her sanity and her true sight of the
Blond hair, blue eyes. In America these are the ideals of a woman’s beauty. This image is drilled into our minds across the lifespan in the media and it conditions people's standards of beauty. We see Black women wish that their skin was lighter. In an episode of "The Tyra Banks Show", a Black girl as young as 6 talks about how she doesn't like her hair and wishes that it was long and straight like a white woman's. Some minorities get surgery to change their facial features, or only date white men. Having been taught to think that white people are more attractive than people of their own ethnicity. In Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, the character of Pecola exemplifies the inferiority felt throughout the black community due to the ideology that white qualities propel you in social status. Pecola’s mother, Pauline Breedlove, said it best when she was introduced to beauty it being the most destructive ideas in the history of human though. From which the envy, insecurity and disillusion have been derived by the ideas of beauty and physical appearance. Pecola’s story is about the consequences of a little black girl growing up in a society dominated by white supremacy. We must not look at beauty as a value rather an oppressive discourse that has taken over our society. Pecola truly believes that if her eyes were blue she would be pretty, virtuous, and loved by everyone around her. Friends would play with her, teachers would treat her better and even her parents might stop their constant fights because, in her heart of hearts, no one would want to “do bad things in front of those pretty eyes.”
The narrative structure of The Bluest Eye is important in revealing just how pervasive and destructive social racism is. Narration in novel comes from several sources. Much of the narration comes from Claudia MacTeer as a nine year old child, but Morrison also gives the reader the insight of Claudia reflecting on the story as an adult, some first person narration from Pecola's mother, and narration by Morrison herself as an omniscient narrator. Pecola's experiences would have less meaning coming from Pecola herself because a total and complete victim would be an unreliable narrator, unwilling or unable to relate the actual circumstances of that year. Claudia, from her youthful innocence, is able to see and relate how the other characters, especially Pecola, idolize the "ideal" of beauty presented by white, blue-eyed movie stars like little Shirley Temple. In addition to narrative structure, the structure and composition of the novel itself help to illustrate how much and for how long white ideas of family and home have been forced into black culture.
Ryder being the dean of the Blue Vein Society, he met many people, but one person really stood out to him and her name was Margaret Dixon. Margaret was a light-skinned young lady who was very high class, charming, and educated. Mr. Ryder fell in love with her the very moment he met her and wanted to prove this to her by planning a ball in her honor, so he could propose to her. Since Margaret had so many great assets about herself, Mr. Ryder thought she would be a great wife for him because she would not only continue to help him grow in society but also help him with his social status. By doing this Mr. Ryder shows his true colors because is signifies his hypocrisy due to the fact that he isn’t only wanting to marry her, so he can benefit, but also because he is still a married man. Mr. Ryder’s wife Liza is anything but acceptable to him and his society, and since he left Liza behind to create a new life it goes to show what kind of man he is. Liza as well as Mr. Ryder has experienced slavery, however she never once tried to cover up her heritage. Instead, she spent the past 25 years working all while trying to find her long-lost husband. The racial inequality is shown very clear when comparing Ryder’s new life and Liza’s, Liza embraced her background while Mr. Ryder was trying to write his off. In doing so, it portrays the inequality and weakness between societies. However, if Mr. Ryder marries Margaret he thinks it will eventually cover up his past. On the other
Brought up as a poor unwanted girl, Pecola Breedlove desires the acceptance and love of society. The image of "Shirley Temple beauty" surrounds her. In her mind, if she was to be beautiful, people would finally love and accept her. The idea that blue eyes are a necessity for beauty has been imprinted on Pecola her whole life. "If [I] looked different, beautiful, maybe Cholly would be different, and Mrs. Breedlove too. Maybe they would say, `Why look at pretty eyed Pecola. We mustn't do bad things in front of those pretty [blue] eyes'" (Morrison 46). Many people have helped imprint this ideal of beauty on her. Mr. Yacowbski as a symbol for the rest of society's norm, treats her as if she were invisible. "He does not see her, because for him there is nothing to see. How can a fifty-two-year-old white immigrant storekeeper... see a little black girl?" (Morrison 48). Her classmates also have an effect on her. They seem to think that because she is not beautiful, she is not worth anything except as the focal point of their mockery. "Black e mo. Black e mo. Yadaddsleepsnekked. Black e mo black e mo ya dadd sleeps nekked.
In “The Bluest Eye”, Morrison depicts the ways that white beauty standard changes the lives of black women. Whiteness is superior throughout the book from the doll that Claudia received during Christmas, admiration of Shirley Temple’s cup, Mary Jane on candy wrappers, to famous white actress Jean Harlow. The obsession of Pecola Breedlove for blue eyes acts as a way to transcend her own ugliness and to become beautiful as white females. "Each night without fail she prayed for blue eyes...she would never know her beauty." (Morrison 53) Pecola blamed on her ugliness as reasons people in her town dislike her and the love and support that is missing from her family. One important theme that illustrates her passiveness in believing her ugliness is in Mr. Yacobowski’s candy store. Pecola went into a candy store to buy candies but the store owner, Mr. Yacobowski stared at her as if he could not recognize her, “because for him there is nothing to see.” (Morrison 67) Pe...
Brought up as a poor unwanted girl, Pecola Breedlove desires the acceptance and love of society. The image of "Shirley Temple beauty" surrounds her. In her mind, if she was to be beautiful, people would finally love and accept her. The idea that blue eyes are a necessity for beauty has been imprinted on Pecola her whole life. "If [I] looked different, beautiful, maybe Cholly would be different, and Mrs. Breedlove too. Maybe they would say, `Why look at pretty eyed Pecola. We mustn't do bad things in front of those pretty [blue] eyes'" (Morrison 46). Many people have helped imprint this ideal of beauty on her. Mr. Yacowbski as a symbol for the rest of society's norm, treats her as if she were invisible. "He does not see her, because for him there is nothing to see. How can a fifty-two-year-old white immigrant storekeeper... see a little black girl?" (Morrison 48). Her classmates also have an effect on her. They seem to think that because she is not beautiful, she is not worth anything except as the focal point of their mockery.
A reader might easily conclude that the most prominent social issue presented in The Bluest Eye is that of racism, but more important issues lie beneath the surface. Pecola experiences damage from her abusive and negligent parents. The reader is told that even Pecola's mother thought she was ugly from the time of birth. Pecola's negativity may have initially been caused by her family's failure to provide her with identity, love, security, and socialization, ail which are essential for any child's development (Samuels 13). Pecola's parents are able only to give her a childhood of limited possibilities. She struggles to find herself in infertile soil, leading to the analysis of a life of sterility (13). Like the marigolds planted that year, Pecola never grew.
Pecola and Claudia are two of the main characters that show a sister like connection, yet they show qualities that seem to be contrasting. As the story continues, their ideas and characters unfold, showing their perspective on the world. In The Bluest Eye, Pecola and Claudia are seen as two girls who are dissimilar in their views on societies beauty standards and similar in their child like qualities.