What a delightful article--humorous, but not disrespectful. How encouraging to find a contemporary writer (a full-figured woman herself) reconsidering her own body image, when confronted by this example of ideal beauty from a nobler, healthier culture than our own.
When the writer asks, and answers, "Does that make me and my fellow size-14 women goddesses, too? I would like to think so,
" one discovers how profoundly visual presentations of beauty (be they magazine photographs or Classical sculptures) affect viewers' self image.
If modern women were surrounded by the Classical ideal of full-figured beauty that this sculpture represents, rather than by today's androgynous skeleton-models, they too would view their plus-size figures as goddess-like. As they should.
The statue even offers a fine bit of fashion advice for present-day voluptuous vixens. The writer describes the statue's "wind-blown garments clinging to her body
" as being "characteristic of Aphrodite.
" The Ancients knew that well-fed figures are best exhibited by closely-fitting, body-embracing fashions which reveal every soft curve and contour; not by loose, formless apparel.
The writer's witticism about Aphrodite's craving for "a large slice of pizza"
is also refreshing. It suggests that even across the millennia, she feels a kinship with the model who posed for this statue. She knows that only a considerable appetite, freely indulged, could have endowed the model with her generous proportions--the proportions worthy of Venus herself.
If only young women today could become similarly comfortable with their natural desires, and equally confident in their appearance. A wider dissemination of the beauty ideal that this statue represents would make such a change in perception possible.
The same ideal, two millennia later--Venus, Mars, and Two Cupids,
by the Baroque master Padovanino (1588-1648):
(Note the soft curves along the model's back.)
- Click here for Pinacotheca information