Books and Movies Reviews

White People and Racial Passing

How does Eugenides put racial passing and gender passing in conversation with each other in his novel “Middlesex”? Passing means being hidden. People are trying to be accepted into a world with a different identity from their own. Jeffrey Eugenides’ Middlesex presents passing as something else just to be seen as “normal” or to be accepted into the society and not get discriminated. Racial passing and gender passing were seen many times in this novel within the characters.

Not only were they seen in the novel, they were also seen through wo articles that we discussed in class. Those articles were “Who’s the fairest of them all? ” by Jill Nelson and “Transgender Liberation: A Movement Whose Time has Come” by Leslie Feinberg. Racial passing and gender passing are in relation to each other because they are both showing the sense of people passing for something that in reality they are not. ‘Who’s the fairest of them all? by Jill Nelson claims that black girls and women can never obtain the true ingredient of female beauty in America, which is being hite. The article states that a black woman’s natural hair is basically seen as unacceptable. That in order for it to be accepted it should be relaxed, straightened, or some would even have to put weave in. Long and straight hair is what is desirable to the society and it sends the message to black women that because they do not have the silky long and straight hair that they are known to not be desirable.

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It explains why most black women have extensions and perm their hair to be socially accepted. Even the black models that are out there in the world today do not completely portray a natural black woman. For example, Naomi Campbell has weave in all the time and wears colored contact lenses. The media portrays a certain identity for black women. Nelson says in this article that she cut all her hair off and got so many weird looks because it was not known as “normal” for black women to walk around in their natural bodies.

This article ties into the topic of racial passing and gender passing because black women try to fit n this culture to be accepted and they feel the only way they would be accepted is by changing their look to be looked at as being desirable. The true beauty of what is fundamentally correct in America is whiteness.

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