Write a 5 pages paper on role of white standards of beauty. Both the authors show how the characters are subjected to the established but dubious societal standards of beauty and are also pressured to conform to its ideals in different ways. As the standards of beauty are perceived through the skin color of the characters in both the novels, it induces them into losing their own culture and personal identity. The society’s rigid white standards of beauty pressure the individuals to either conform to it or try to adapt to it, and when individuals struggle to do that, it ultimately brings devastating effects on their lives.
Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye describes the longings of a young black girl, Pecola Breedlove, who struggles to endure in a society dominated by the white standards of beauty. She is constantly reminded of her black nature, which she assumes to be uglier, as perceived from the society’s standards. Pecola’s desire to be white with blue eyes is fueled by society’s notion of beauty standards. She aspires to get to the unreachable white standards of the society, which makes her life more miserable. “Pecola attempts to mediate the distance between the misperception and misrecognition of her body and the ideal of Mary Jane whiteness.” (Gaines). Her attempts to conform to the white standards of the society are the ultimate cause for the devastating effects in her life. Similarly, in The Black Notebooks Toi Derricotte presents the memoirs of her anguish and ambivalence as a black woman with white skin. Although her light-skinned and straight-haired appearance kind of gives ‘pass’ for her in the whites’ society, she is still lost with the inner dilemma that constantly urges her that she is black first. Derricotte’s experiences clearly show her inner struggles with the fact that she is accepted as someone, which she is not. .
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