“Beauty was not simply something to behold; it was something one could do” (xi). The Bluest Eye has an overall theme about what is and what is not beauty. As wrong as it may be, beauty is a way to determine if you are accepted socially. Morrison’s main character, Pecola, comes in with a bang. She is first introduced as the girl who is in county custody because her father burned down the family’s house. Pecola battles with her acceptance, beauty, and self-confidence. Pecola struggles throughout the story to find an identity. Her idea of beauty is a tall, white blonde, blue eyed, Barbie like figure. Not only did Pecola have to deal with her identity, she also had problems within her family. Beauty can be viewed in different ways; there is no underlining definition to the word beauty.
Pecola has trouble in school. She has no friends, and does not socialize in school. Kids like that look forward to coming home to see their parents because they know their parents will always be there and love them. Problem is Pecola is in a lose-lose situation. She can not go home and feel normal and not deal with problems. It is sad because Pecola has to look up to the Maginot Line, three whores who live above her. Their names are China, Poland, and Miss Marie. Pecola looks up too them because they are nice to her and they do not care what others think about them. Perfect example of why they are whores. They do not care what others say or think about them. Pecola is one who should learn to be like that. Learn to shake things off and do what she wants. Beauty is something that she should not let bother her. With an abusive father the last thing to question should be beauty, but yet it always seems to be on her mind. She compares herself to dandelions. She does not know why people think they are ugly. She thinks they are beautiful but as soon as she gets to the candy store and buys her Mary Janes, she realizes that the blonde blue-eyed Mary Jane is beautiful. Pecola has her thoughts and refuses to change them.
Morrison introduces a new character in the winter named Maureen Peal. She is beautiful wealthy black girl. Immediately the school writes her off. All of the girls are jealous of her and search for flaws. They find out that she has a crooked tooth and that at one point she had six fingers on each hand. One day a bunch of boys are circling around Pecola and taunting her for the skin school. Claudia and Frieda go to defend her and then Maureen arrives at the scene. Maureen tries to comfort Pecola by offering to buy her ice cream. It looks like they have changed their opinion about Maureen and she could actually be a friend. Just as it looks like Maureen could turn out to be a friend for Pecola, she puts the dagger right in her heart. Maureen tells Claudia and Pecola they are black and ugly. Pecola is used to hearing those words so it is not a big deal to her. She has heard it plenty of times before. Claudia and Pecola are extremely jealous of Maureen and her perfect body. Morrison challenges the idea of beauty that the Barbie doll look is not the only way of being beautiful. That Maureen Peal is a perfect example of how this is not true. She shows that black can be beautiful.