Racial Beauty: African Americans Essay

584 words - 2 pages

African-Americans are represented as people who suffer from white people othering, internalizing the white beauty ideal and scapegoating, which convinces them they are inferior to white people.
African-Americans feel unworthy to white people, as a result of white people trying to distance themselves as far as possible from African-Americans. White people want to have clear boundaries between me and not-me, in order to retain their identity. In The Bluest Eye, African-Americans function as the ‘Other’, thereby representing everything that white people do not want to be. However, without the Other, there is no self; without black, there is no white. People that consider themselves to be better than African-Americans can only feel so by contrasting themselves to them. For example, the fact that the light-coloured Maureen Peal screams to Frieda, Claudia and Pecola ‘I am cute! And you ugly! Black and ugly black e mos! I am cute! (Morrison 56-57)’, proves she needs to juxtapose black with cute in order to feel cute herself. Therefore, the othering in this novel is mainly based on racial stereotypes. Morrison offers a view here for white readers how anti-black racism works which may lead to the reader tracing if they behave this way. Later in the novel, Claudia explains that this type of identifying oneself is all an illusion by admitting that ‘we rearranged lies and called it truth (Morrison 163)’. Morrison argues here that othering, and thus anti-black racism, is based on an illusion. The excruciating side of the story to the reader is, therefore, that actions based on fantasies can have soul-destroying consequences, like African-Americans actually believing it is true.
Much of the force of African-American people feeling inferior to white people comes from the internalization of white beauty...

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