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Whiteness as a standard of beauty in the Bluest Eye

            Whiteness as pure and ethereal symbol plays a very large role in The Bluest Eye. Whiteness as a standard of beauty creates devastating internal racism. People who cannot feel beautiful as they are usually tend to be depressed and have no sense of their worth as a human being. Morrison clearly portrays whiteness as a standard of beauty for the characters in her novel, while the outlier is Claudia MacTeer who constantly subverts this idea.
             Toni Morrison's portrayal of whiteness as the standard of beauty is readily apparent throughout The Bluest Eye. Many of the characters in the novel are described in a physical manner that emphasizes their "unattractive" African American features. Hair that is "un-straightened" is looked at negatively. A broad and flat nose, as opposed to long and thin, reflects ugliness. Morrison constantly shows that all characters but Claudia are prone to this destructive way of thinking. While describing Claudia and Frieda, Mr. Henry compares them to beautiful white celebrities of the time. While there were black movie stars at the time, he chose to use white women to depict beauty. Maureen Peal, the arch-enemy of Claudia, is regarded as an angelic little white girl. She is described with great detail by Morrison.
             The disrupter of seasons was a new girl in school named Maureen Peal. A high-yellow dream child with long brown hair braided into two lynch ropes that hung down her back .She enchanted the entire school. When teachers called on her, they smiled encouragingly. Black boys didn't trip her in the halls; white boys didn't stone her, white girls didn't suck their teeth when she was assigned to be their work partners; black girls stepped aside when she wanted to use the sink in the girls' toilet, and their eyes genuflected under sliding lids. She never had to search for anybody to eat with in the cafeteria--they flocked to the table of her choice- (62-3).

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