Eurocentric Beauty Standards In Jessie Redmon Fauset's Touche

2011 Words9 Pages
For years, the colonization and enslavement of Black people have remained upheld by White people, but despite the cessation of the former and the abolishment of the latter, both races are still straining to move past that colonial mindset. The West is the best mentality became the foundation for many nations, and as a result, societal expectations, like beauty standards, were modeled after Eurocentric ideals. Jessie Redmon Fauset addresses the issue of Eurocentric beauty standards in her poem “Touche” (1927), which is about a Black woman who explores the reason why her Black lover seems to have an obsession with her hair. Similarly, addressing the same issue of Eurocentric beauty standards but through a visual medium, D. Channsin Berry and…show more content…
In stanza one and two, the woman is questioning why her lover’s expression changes whenever the two are together and he touches her hair (Fauset). With the third line, “Laughing and leaning so close to the gloom,” the fact that they are “so close to the gloom” suggests that the two are either in a point in their relationship in which they are nearing an impending heartbreak or they simply have a relationship that is already ridden with problems that have yet to be discussed (Fauset). At first glance, the problem, as evident in the following line, seems to be her hair. In line four, the “change that creeps sharp” over her male lover is abrupt yet slight and what incites this abrupt change is her hair (Fauset). Immediately once the hair came into the picture, the “ 'loving ' and 'doving '” seen in line two shifted into the male having a look of “mixed wonder and rue” in line six (Fauset). With the words “wonder” and “rue,” the male lover looks at her hair with equal parts amazement and confusion, as well as some regret (Fauset). It is not known why the male lover looks at her hair this way until the next two stanzas clear up the…show more content…
Channsin Berry and Bill Duke, who are both Black men, the focus is on how the issue of Eurocentric beauty standards, or more specifically colorism, effects the Black community. Colorism is defined to be the “prejudice or discrimination based on the relative lightness or darkness of the skin” (Dark Girls). In this case, lightness is preferred while darkness is not. According to Matthew Shenoda, Assistant Provost for Equity and Diversity at the California Institution of the Arts, it is a concept that has its roots in years of White colonization and slavery (Dark Girls). When White people took control of masses of people, a sort of cultural invasion occurred and because the people were being taught that the colonizers are superior, they started to change their sense of beauty, intelligence, identity, and superiority with whiteness. Thus, the closer one is to appearing White, the better the chances are of having those attributes. Today, this still

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