The Impacts of White-Dominated Media on Blacks in Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye

Topics: Black people, White people, Race and Ethnicity Pages: 5 (1921 words) Published: December 22, 2014
The Impacts of White-Dominated Media on Blacks in The Bluest Eye Media has always been a great influence on people thoughts. In The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison cites such organization as one of the major factors which not only creates degrading stereotypes of the African Americans, but also establishes a feeling of self-hatred within the people themselves. Toni Morrison portrays the prejudiced media in America drawn by white-domination contributes internalized racism in African Americans bringing in the dislike of their own skin color, the preference for white lifestyle, and the identity crisis. The media generates the notion that dark skin is unattractive. Toni Morrison points out the one of the main reasons why beauty of dark skin is overlooked. African Americans never have opportunity to expose the beauty of their people for the media features only white people. Movies, advertisement, and toys display merely white standard of beauty. Throughout the novel, the writer refers to this subject matter. For example, Claudia, an African American girl receives a blonde doll for her birthday of which she is not very fond. In addition, in movies, mostly white actors or actresses like Jean Harrow and Clark Gable are featured. From all these evidences, we can see that all the representatives of beautiful people in the media are white. No blacks involve. When these happen, blacks have no role-models on the media that would assure the attraction within them. During the 40s where the story takes place, there were black entertainers, but racism impeded their chance to become as successful as white ones. Perhaps by exemplifying the media displaying only white people, Morrison intends to criticize such unfairness. The novel reveals that the black entertainers are not very well-known enough in black communities, so the popular stars, even to the blacks, are white. Consequently, they have no representatives of their heritage in the media to prove that beauty is not all about whites. Black people’s values of beauty are ostracized by the media causing the belief that whiteness is the center of beauty; those who are far from the center as blacks cannot help but see ugliness in themselves and yearn for the white beauty. As a result, African Americans discriminate the ones with darker skin like Pecola and celebrate the beauty of black girls like Maurine whose color skin is lighter. Consuming media displaying mainly whites embodies black people to think white skin is beautiful while black is not. Despite being a black girl, with her lighter skin, Maurine has features are classified as beautiful according to white standard which people including black perceive from the media. Pecola, on the other hand, has no similarities to the ideal beauty shown by the media because of her very dark skin. That is why Maurine gets all the compliments while she gets none. This leads to the latter’s infatuation with white features. Her fetish for blue eye reflects habitual thinking in black people influenced by white-dominated media. At least two episodes show that Pecola’s desire to be white is influenced by the media. First of all, when Pecola goes to the candy store, she buys a candy that has a picture of a white woman named Mary Jane on the wrapper. It is obvious that she could not care less about the candy. It is Mary Jane who is described as “Smiling white face. Blond hair in gentle disarray, blue eyes…” that the girl is fascinated with. Her fantasy while eating the candy, “To eat the candy is somehow to eat the eyes, eat Mary Jane,” shows her obsession with white features. This means she is massively dissatisfied with her appearance. Besides, when she gets scolded by Claudia’s mother for drinking milk, it is explained that she drinks all the milk because she loves seeing Shirley Temple’s lovely face on the cup while drinking it. Her wish for blue eye at the end is poignant exhibiting her discontent of her looks. It reflects a group of people with very dark...
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