Beauty that she needed a miracle, which was

Beauty is a characteristic of an animal, idea, object, person or place that provides a perceptual experience of pleasure or satisfaction. Beauty isn’t always used to express an appearance. In life, people have certain standards of what is truly beautiful. Beauty is looked at to be something positive, but it can also play a negative role. In the book The Bluest Eye, written by Toni Morrison, the characters show how the concept of beauty can be both pernicious and destructive.
To start, the concept of white beauty standards deform the lives of black girls and women. Pecola was eager to have blue eyes. “Here was an ugly little girl asking for beauty….A little black girl who wanted to rise up out of the pit of her blackness and see the world with blue eyes” (Morrison 174). Pecola’s feelings toward herself were nothing but negative. She believed that she needed a miracle, which was to have the bluest eyes. All of the calamity that occured in this novel can be tied back to whiteness as a standard of beauty. The pernicious influence that white sets the standards for beauty plays a major factor in the character’s lifestyle. Pecola wanted to see a different side of the world. She was definite that blue eyes would help her become loved by others and the negativity in her life would turn into respect and endearment. Also, Claudia brings out her true feelings regarding to the standards of white beauty. “Frieda and she had a long conversation about how cu-ute Shirley Temple was. I couldn’t join them in their adoration because I hated Shirley” (Morrison 19). The example of Sherley Temple that Claudia uses helps distinguish herself from Frieda and Pecola, and what she perceives as their own racial self-loathing. She is disgusted with the tyranny of Shirley Temple and white beauty. Claudia is a victim of the belief of white beauty standards and the insecurity of material as well as Pecola. Claudia detests the dolls that she is given. When Claudia receives the white doll she doesn´t desire, she completely destroys it. Claudia’s family and friends have all adapted to the belief that white sets the standards for beauty. This makes it hard for Claudia to be herself in the ways she feels that she is beautiful.
To add, the concept of beauty leads the characters to racial self loathing and hatred. Cholly shows his hatred toward black women and degrades them by their appearance. “He poured out on her the sum of all his inarticulate fury and aborted desires. Hating her, he could leave himself intact” (Morrison 42). Cholly was racially humiliated the first time he had sex with a woman. Cholly is unable to hate the white men because hating them would have destroyed him. Instead of targetting his anger at the white men who mistreated him, he diverts it toward black women. This shows that Cholly lives up to the racial beauty standards as well. He handles this humiliation by men who are socially and legally more powerful than him by turning his rage upon the black women in his life including his daughter whom which he rapes. Cholly’s perspective of beauty and women seemed to have changed many times during the story. Also, the kids on the playground didn’t find themselves to live up to the standards of beauty; they took it out on Pecola. “It was their contempt for their own blackness that gave the first insult its teeth. They seemed to have taken all of their smoothly cultivated ignorance, their exquisitely learned self-hatred … and spilled over lips of outrage, consuming whatever was in its path” (Morrison 65). The young boys on the playground make fun of Pecola for being black. They coped by angrilly expressing their own feelings toward themselves (self-hatred and internalized racism) on another victim of the same issue. Even though they were no different than Pecola, this was the only way that the kids knew how to deal with their own problems. Their pernicious behavior played a key role into why Pecola didn’t feel beautiful and hated her appearance. She wasn’t being accepted by her own race, making her situation no better to live with. In this way, beauty is destructive for Pecola.
Finally, the concept of beauty effected the minds of the characters. Pecola believes that physical appearance can alter one’s psychological condition. “It had occurred to Pecola some time ago that if her eyes…were different, that is to say, beautiful, she herself would be different” (Morrison 46). Pecola feels that being beautiful is a necessity to having a better and more mentally stable life. The only way she would have a good state of mind is if her eyes were blue. All Pecola seemed to think about was her eye color. Being stuck on her physical appearance prevented Pecola from living the life a child should have. Also, Pecola lacked confidence. “Thrown, in this way, into the binding conviction that only a miracle could relieve her, she would never know her beauty. She would only see what there was to see: the eyes of other people” (Morrison 46). Pecola has a low self-esteem when it comes to not caring what other people think about her appearance. She doesn’t have any pride, dignity, or respect for who she really is. Instead of being herself and knowing she is beautiful no matter what others think, she tries to be someone she isn’t. Living up to the standards of white beauty was pernicious to the way Pecola felt about herself.
To conclude, the concept of beauty can alter from different people in many ways. The characters in the story lived up to a standard of beauty that was both pernicious and destructive. Having a standard of beauty can affect many people in many ways.


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