The Bluest Eye Beauty Standards Essay

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What is the most pressing issue facing society today? In The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison argues that it is beauty standards, even calling physical beauty “the most destructive idea[] in the history of human thought” (122). While this may seem outrageous in a world of terrorism, global warming, homelessness, and hunger, beauty standards and the feelings of inferiority that stem from them affect everybody. In severe cases, these feelings can even manifest themselves deeply inside of a person and lead to eating disorders, depression, anxiety, self-hatred, and even suicide. In The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison uses the insecurities of the female characters to demonstrate that beauty standards are a danger to society, as they perpetuate racism and self-hatred. Pecola and her mother, Pauline, see themselves as ugly because they hold themselves to beauty standards in which light-skinned people are the ideal. Pecola and her mother have a brutal home life due to the drunken violence of Cholly Breedlove, and the constant pressure of beauty standards only adds to their misfortune. Morrison explains this pressure by asserting that “[i]t was as though some mysterious all-knowing master had given each one a cloak of ugliness to wear, and they…show more content…
They constantly encounter the problem of not living up to society’s beauty standards, which results in feelings of self-hatred based on race. These feelings perpetuate racism, as society, and even black people, tend to favor white beauty since it is held up as superior. The problems that Pecola, Pauline, and Claudia face in Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye are not just figments of the past. Today, millions of women across the country feel some sort of self-loathing stemming from dissatisfaction over how they look. It is important that society tries to free itself from these nonsensical standards and celebrate the unique beauty of each individual

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