'The Bluest Eye' By Toni Morrison Destroys Beauty Ideals

'The Bluest Eye' By Toni Morrison Destroys Beauty Ideals

Toni Morrison shines a spotlight on the insecurities that girls and women of color have growing up in a society that favors European features.

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"The Bluest Eye" delves into the world of a young black girl growing up in the United States in the 1940s. Morrison boldly and unapologetically confronts the beauty ideals that existed back then, while slyly forcing us as readers to confront our own. The beginning chapters reveal the wish of the young Pecola Breedlove to have blue eyes so that she could be beautiful in a world where everyone sees her as ugly.

Without giving away too much, this novel relentlessly challenges society on the harsh beauty standards that have been set in place and the effect that these standards had on young girls growing up who don't fit within these ideals. Morrison is a prominent African American author who would have been the same age as the main character in 1941 (when the novel officially begins); however, it was written in 1970, nearly 30 years later. This breaks down that fourth wall and reveals that regardless of her success, those insecurities brought on by society are stuck.

Always ahead of her time, Morrison challenges the readers of this novel to look past the difference in time and setting and acknowledge the little Pecola that exists within all of us. Though born and raised in the States, I can't hide from my Indian heritage and I don't want to either, I'm proud of it. But when I was younger, the impossibility of being beautiful has stuck with me because my hair is black and my skin is brown. Morrison explores exactly this feeling, this moment in a young girl's (and boy) life where they question their worth due to borders and boundaries that were drawn by people we don't even know and can't even see.

"The Bluest Eye" is a literary masterpiece written in a way that can relate with everyone in all different phases of life, connecting each of us through our insecurities. Toni Morrison challenges each of us to not let those insecurities hold us back from what the World really has to offer.

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13 Of The Best, Most Famous Poems Ever Written

Masterpieces by some of our favorites like as Shakespeare, John Donne, and Homer.
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Some of us read poetry for an eager and fast escape from this world. On the other hand, some of us read poetry solely to share it with the ones we love. There are miracles on paper that can easily be forgotten about if we let them be. The following poems are written by some of our favorites such as Shakespeare, John Donne, Homer, and more. It is clear why these have become some of the most famous and unforgettable poems ever written. So grab a pen, and interpret these poems in your own, unique way.

1. “Go and Catch a Falling Star” - John Donne

Go and catch a falling star,

Get with child a mandrake root,

Tell me where all past years are,

Or who cleft the devil's foot,

Teach me to hear mermaids singing,

Or to keep off envy's stinging,

And find

What wind

Serves to advance an honest mind.

If thou be'st born to strange sights,

Things invisible to see,

Ride ten thousand days and nights,

Till age snow white hairs on thee,

Thou, when thou return'st, wilt tell me,

All strange wonders that befell thee,

And swear,

No where

Lives a woman true, and fair.

If thou find'st one, let me know,

Such a pilgrimage were sweet;

Yet do not, I would not go,

Though at next door we might meet;

Though she were true, when you met her,

And last, till you write your letter,

Yet she

Will be

False, ere I come, to two, or three.

2. “Drinking Alone in the Moonlight” - Li Po

Beneath the blossoms with a pot of wine,

No friends at hand, so I poured alone;

I raised my cup to invite the moon,

Turned to my shadow, and we became three.

Now the moon had never learned about drinking,

And my shadow had merely followed my form,

But I quickly made friends with the moon and my shadow;

To find pleasure in life, make the most of the spring.

Whenever I sang, the moon swayed with me;

Whenever I danced, my shadow went wild.

Drinking, we shared our enjoyment together;

Drunk, then each went off on his own.

But forever agreed on dispassionate revels,

We promised to meet in the far Milky Way.

3. “Sonnet 18” - William Shakespeare

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?

Thou art more lovely and more temperate:

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,

And summer's lease hath all too short a date:

Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,

And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;

And every fair from fair sometime declines,

By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimm'd;

But thy eternal summer shall not fade

Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st;

Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,

When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st;

So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,

So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

4. “The World Is Too Much with Us” - William Wordsworth

The world is too much with us; late and soon,

Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;—

Little we see in Nature that is ours;

We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!

This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;

The winds that will be howling at all hours,

And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;

For this, for everything, we are out of tune;

It moves us not. Great God! I’d rather be

A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;

So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,

Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;

Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;

Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.

5. “She Walks in Beauty” - Lord Byron

She walks in beauty, like the night

Of cloudless climes and starry skies;

And all that’s best of dark and bright

Meet in her aspect and her eyes;

Thus mellowed to that tender light

Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,

Had half impaired the nameless grace

Which waves in every raven tress,

Or softly lightens o’er her face;

Where thoughts serenely sweet express,

How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,

So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,

The smiles that win, the tints that glow,

But tell of days in goodness spent,

A mind at peace with all below,

A heart whose love is innocent!

6. “How Do I Love Thee?”- Elizabeth Browning

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,












I shall but love thee better after death.

7. “ Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” -Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.

His house is in the village though;

He will not see me stopping here

To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer

To stop without a farmhouse near

Between the woods and frozen lake

The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake

To ask if there is some mistake.

The only other sound’s the sweep

Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.

8. The Jabberwocky” - Lewis Carroll

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:

All mimsy were the borogoves,

And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!

The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!

Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun

The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand;

Long time the manxome foe he sought—

So rested he by the Tumtum tree

And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,

The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,

Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,

And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through

The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!

He left it dead, and with its head

He went galumphing back.

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?

Come to my arms, my beamish boy!

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”

He chortled in his joy.

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:

All mimsy were the borogoves,

And the mome raths outgrabe.

9. “Tears Fall in My Heart” - Paul Verlaine

Tears fall in my heart

Rain falls on the town;

what is this numb hurt

that enters my heart?

Ah,the soft sound of rain

on roofs, on the ground!

To a dulled heart they came,

ah, the song of the rain!

Tears without reason

in the disheartened heart.

What? no trace of treason?

This grief's without reason.

It's far the worst pain

to never know why

without love or disdain

my heart has such pain!

10. “We Wear the Mask” - Paul Lawrence Dunbar

We wear the mask that grins and lies,

It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—

This debt we pay to human guile;

With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,

And mouth with myriad subtleties.

Why should the world be over-wise,

In counting all our tears and sighs?

Nay, let them only see us, while

We wear the mask.

We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries

To thee from tortured souls arise.

We sing, but oh the clay is vile

Beneath our feet, and long the mile;

But let the world dream otherwise,

We wear the mask!

11. “The Panther” - Rainer Maria Rilke

His vision, from the constantly passing bars,

has grown so weary that it cannot hold

anything else. It seems to him there are

a thousand bars; and behind the bars, no world.

As he paces in cramped circles, over and over,

the movement of his powerful soft strides

is like a ritual dance around a center

in which a mighty will stands paralyzed.

Only at times, the curtain of the pupils

lifts, quietly--. An image enters in,

rushes down through the tensed, arrested muscles,

plunges into the heart and is gone.

12. “Sea Fever” - John Masefield

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,

And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;

And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,

And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide

Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;

And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,

And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,

To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;

And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,

And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

13. "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Goodnight" -Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

















Save these poems for your next coffee shop date or solitude moment. You might be surprised at how much you can find yourself in a poem.

Cover Image Credit: Thought Catalog

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Thank You For Your Compliments But I Don't See Myself As 'Pretty' Just Yet

My self-image is coming along, but I'm not there yet.

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I've always been one of the girls who try every day when I get ready in the morning. I spend an hour and a half on my makeup, hair, and outfit every day before I leave for classes because I like looking put together. I like feeling like I tried every day even when I don't consciously try too hard because it makes my self-esteem feel much higher than it is on some days. I get compliments all of the time because of how I look and while I always appreciate the kind words people say to me, I'm still working on believing those words, myself.

Self-image is always a work in progress no matter who you are and it takes time before you start to see what the rest of the world sees in you. Everyone has to take the time in their lives to work on themselves before they can see what the world sees. You can be conscious of what the world thinks fo you, but its the work you put into yourself that matters.

It's like this, I've modeled, acted, and done pageants in my lifetime. I know in my brain that there must be aspects of my physical appearance that made me capable enough to do those sort of activities. However, I want to feel pretty on the inside, first, before feeling it on the outside. I want to feel that sort of confidence inside of me before anything else because my opinion is the one that matters the most about myself, not anyone else's.

It took many years of self-discovery and many nights picking apart my body in the mirror before I came to this conclusion about self-esteem and I think it's important for the world to know this, too, that my body is my body and good self-esteem and confidence does not come overnight. It takes years of work on your inner and outer appearance before you start to feel happy with where you are in life. It's all a balancing act and I know that at this point in my life that I am still a work in progress when it comes down to it.

I am thankful for the compliments in my lifetime and me writing this does not mean that I am upset for being complimented. I wanted to write the truth about self-image because I think in our society, anymore we just expect everyone to be the most confident person in the world in their appearance, but instead, we are all a work in progress and need the time for ourselves before we can take what others say about us to heart. I appreciate the body positivity and I am all for hyping people up to help their self-image, but true self-esteem comes from within, and external influences should never play a part in it. You are worth a million bucks, but you have to find that within yourself, first.

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