The Nature Of Racialised Beauty In The Bluest Eye By Toni Morrison

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Destructive Nature of Racialised Beauty Toni Morrison published her first book, The Bluest Eye, in 1970. In this novel, Toni Morrison shows how societies racist and false beliefs on beauty can be seriously destructive if believed and taken to heart. Toni Morrison displays the destructive nature of racialised beauty through the character in the novel named Pecola Breedlove. Pecola lacks self esteem and believes that she is the blackest and ugliest girl, and she believes that white is the only beautiful race. Morrison challenges Western standards of beauty and demonstrates that the idea of beauty is socially constructed. Toni Morrison shows how when one race is used as the standard of beauty, the value of the other races is diminished. The standard…show more content…
The novel shows black people who are aware of the danger of conforming to Western standards of beauty. In the beginning of the novel, Claudia describes herself as indifferent; She realizes that she does not really hate Maureen but instead hated “the thing that made her beautiful” (Morrison, page 58). Claudia always asked herself “What was the secret? ...Why was it important? And so what?” (Morrison, page 57) It was the ideology of whiteness that made Maureen Paul beautiful. When Claudia and Frieda were younger, they were happy with their blackness. “We felt comfortable in our skins, enjoyed the news that our senses released to us, admired our dirt, cultivated our scars, and could not comprehend this unworthiness” (Morrison, page 57). This may suggest that Claudia resists the pressure to conform to Western standards of beauty. Claudia recognizes that if we conform to the Western standard of beauty, we may gain beauty but only at the expense of others. However, Claudia learns to love Shirley Temple; Claudia “learned much later to worship her” (Morrison, page 16) This suggests that the idea of beauty is something that is learned and not natural or
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