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Whiteness as a Definition of Beauty Essay

  • Submitted by: Adi1030
  • on January 7, 2013
  • Category: English
  • Length: 869 words

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Below is an essay on "Whiteness as a Definition of Beauty" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Dick Hebdige's study of the punk movement is presented as "one of the most important books to emerge from the Birmingham Center for Contemporary Cultural Studies" (Rivkin & Ryan: 1258). In his work, Hebdige considers punk to be "a form of resistant meaning-making, an anti-bourgeois style that in some respects resembles earlier versions of the literary avant-garde" (Rivkin & Ryan: 1258). Hebdige begins his book by an analysis of the opening pages of The Thief's Journal by Jean Genet, a controversial French novelist and the originator of an alternative form of sainthood (where homosexuality, theft and betrayal were considered the trinity of "virtues"). In an excerpt from The Thief's Journal quoted by Hebdige, a tube of vaseline was found in Genet's possession. The "dirty, wretched object proclaiming his homosexuality to the world" became a symbol of Genet's "queerness" and the cause for his humiliation. However, it could also be viewed as a symbol of his ultimate triumph over the bourgeois values of the 1940's that at that time defined the norms of society. Hebdige argues that the punk movement, whose only crime was revolting against the unfair social order and breaking the existing codes of "normativity", experienced a similar level of discrimination as sexual minorities did. Both the LGBT- and the punk movement refused to accept the standards set by the dominant groups and rebelled against those, who perceived them as subordinate.

The world of standardized norms, culture clashes and racial inequality is a major theme in Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye. The lives of the black characters are deformed by the existing beauty standards, which associate "whiteness" with both "beauty" and "superiority". The notion of white beauty is omnipresent: white neighborhoods are seen as wealthier, Hollywood movies and television commercials praise whiteness, even the most idolized child actress - Shirley Temple - is a white, blonde girl with blue eyes. From a very early age,...

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"Whiteness as a Definition of Beauty". Anti Essays. 11 Dec. 2018


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Whiteness as a Definition of Beauty. Anti Essays. Retrieved December 11, 2018, from the World Wide Web: http://parimatch-stavka7.com/free-essays/Whiteness-As-A-Definition-Of-Beauty-384140.html

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