Societal Pressure on Self Image, Particularly as it Relates to Black Americans
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Society puts a lot of pressure on its members, much of which the members of society do not even consciously realize is being placed upon them. There is simultaneously pressure to conform to the things society deems acceptable and pressure to express one’s “true self” within the ways that society finds it all right for people to be different. These two pressures can be especially difficult to reconcile in cases where society either does not accept a particular sort of self-expression as valid or when it is impossible for a person to make the sort of changes that would be necessary to fully conform. In this thesis, I will look at the pressure that society can put on individuals’ self-image, particularly as it affects Black Americans. To accomplish this, I will analyze sections of Carl Elliott’s Better than Well, Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, and Patricia Hill Collins’ Black Sexual Politics.