The Bluest Eye

1417 Words6 Pages
Society, especially western, tends to conceptualize 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 a white beauty standard. Starting from a very young age this standard of beauty is created in our minds. We want to look like these actors and models; we want to be thin, fit, youthful looking, a symmetrical face and even have 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; we forget 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 we must look at the antithesis of society’s conception of this white standard, our minorities. Portraying this beauty standard to the polar opposites is more than racist. It is destructive to the minority community in that it creates resentment, low self-esteem, and a perverse hierarchy where minorities judge themselves and others 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 because their self-perception is an unrealistic and unattainable beauty seen in publicity and films. This research paper’s aim is to present the influence of ... ... middle of paper ... ...ore is entitled to affection and comfort. Pecola is ugly in this society. Phyllis Klotman recounts this scene and its importance in his article, Dick-and-Jane and the Shirley Temple Sensibility in the Bluest Eye: “When the little pink-and-yellow girl begins to cry, Pecola’s mother comforts her with tenderness: “Hush, baby, hush. Come here. Oh, Lord, look at your dress. Don’t cry no more. Polly will change it’” (p. 85). For her own child she has harsh and bitter words of rejection: “Pick up that wash and get out of here, so I can get this mess cleaned up” (ibid.). Through her mother’s blurred vision of the pink, white, and golden world of the Fishers, Pecola learns that she is ugly, unacceptable, and especially unloved.” (Klotman 124.) The white beauty standard causes Pauline to show love to a foreign child and contempt for her own flesh and blood.

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