In The Bluest Eye, Morrison argues that the black females in society have been forced to accept the blond hair blue eyed image as the only beauty that exists Little girls in Lorain had it set in their heads that they should all grow up owning a blond haired and blue-eyed doll, also know as Shirley Temple. These images were placed in their minds, making them feel as if they had to live up to the expectations by going with the crowd, and letting their surroundings influence them. “ Adults, older girls, shops, magazines, newspapers, window signs- all the world had agreed that a blue-eye, yellow haired, pink-skinned doll was every girl child’s treasure”(Morrison 20). Society sees Shirley Temple as the angelic picture perfect child, and anything that’s not Shirley Temple, they are considered to be ugly. The Shirley Temple face is the cause of Pecola being hypnotized and it’s the reason for her to drink three whole quarts of milk.
This image shows that Pecola believes that having blue eyes will maker her life like Shirley making her more like a white child. Another instance showing this is when Pecola goes to the store she buys the candy Mary Jane, which has a girl with blue eyes on the wrapper. We see her fascination with Mary Jane’s blue eyes, and she felt if she ate the candy she would become Mary Jane. This is shown when Morrison writes, “To eat the candy is somehow to eat the eyes, eat Mary Jane. Love Mary Jane.
When I grow up I want to look Just Like Barbie Throughout many generations of media publicity, women and girls have publicized and influenced to look like supermodels and in return this leads to them not genuinely loving themselves for who they truly are. There is many causes and effects to these insecurities and one of them had been from childhood girls comparing themselves to Barbie made by Mattel. Barbie herself comes from a long line of controversy of love and hate as well as changes with her appearance. Barbie was inspired based off of the original call-girl character named Lilli, which was a German doll. In 1956, Barbie’s creator Ruth Handler seen the doll while she traveled to Europe and got the inspiration to make a similar doll
The Media’s Effect on Adolescent Bodies The stringent standard Barbie-doll proportions of body image and what is considered beautiful in today’s media has resulted in devastating effects on adolescent women. The images displayed of women who have long beautiful legs, thin waist lines and smooth flawless skin are very hard to ignore. Throughout history the female body has been on display as a selling tool to coerce people into buying that new fancy car or the latest new appliance that can make their everyday lives easier. Commercials of the extremely thin Kelly Ripa can act as a mantra of what a modern day picture perfect house wife should look like standing beside her magical ovens and washing machines. There are also constant ads on billboards, TV, magazines and in shopping malls of size zero girls in the latest fashion designs.
The blue eyes that earned such positive results from other people. Morrison said it best when she wrote the shocking truth that “-all the world had agreed that a blue-eyed, yellow-haired, pink-skinned doll was what every girl treasured” (Morrison, 20). This young girl’s desire for blue pushed her to a point of mental disruption. Having the need for that specific characteristic in order to be accepted by society and feel beautiful lead her in to a place where the state of her mind was unhealthy, sad and
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.
The narrator of the work, Claudia MacTeer, compares she and her sister’s view of Shirley Temple, “Frieda and she had a loving conversation about how cu-ute Shirley Temple was. I couldn’t join them in their adoration because I hated Shirley…hatred for all the Shirley Temples of the World” (Morrison 35). Shirley Temple, often remembered for her bubbly personality, amiable voice, and perfectly spiral-curled hair, was referred to as America’s sweet heart. Shirley Temple was a child around Claudia’s age, but had the presence, fame, and the adoration of an adult movie star. Shirley was all the media illustrated as a normal American girl, not another girl who looked like Claudia.
However, the beliefs and attitudes that have been adopted by the American culture are not creating a positive perception of true and healthy beauty, but rather a perception of shame and disappointment (Bissell & Rask, 2010; Bissell & Young, 2009). Both articles agree that constant exposure to these false perceptions of ideal beauty not only misguides young women into believing that this is in fact the cultural norm, but eventually leads them to accept that they must find a way to live up to these unrealistic standards, ultimately leaving them feeling inadequate and unacceptable (Bissell & Young, 2009; Bissell & Rask, 2010). In the last decade, some advertising companies have made an attempt to challenge or change such standards by choosing to use models that don’t normally fit into this “ideal” construct of beauty (Bissell & Rask, 2010).
In destroying the doll, Claudia attempts to destroy the beauty standard that works to make her feel socially inferior and ugly because of her skin color. Consequently, Claudia's destruction of the doll works to show how the beauty standard was created to keep black females from feeling valuable by producing a sense of self-hate in black females. The racial loathing created within black women keeps them as passive objects and, ultimately, leads black women, specifically Pecola, to destroy themselves because they cannot attain the blue eyes of the white beauty standard. Claudia tries to resist loving white girls that her sister, Frieda, and friend, Pecola, admires for their beautiful features blonde hair and blue eyes. Claudia does not believe that Frieda and Pecola should admire girls who do not look like them physically.
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.