Goddesses past and present


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Posted by HSG on May 09, 2004 at 22:46:07:

In Reply to: Just a thought posted by Jen on April 28, 2004 at 14:29:59:


Jen, your idea is absolutely brilliant. What you describe would surely be one of the most beautiful layouts that any magazine has ever created. It would be an ideal opportunity to demonstrate the aesthetic advantages of the fuller female figure over the androgynous frame that the fashion industry still champions.

As for Diane Kruger as Helen, the best that one can say about this underweight actress is that she is a more attractive anorexic than are most of Hollywood's A-list celebrities. Thank goodness the part went to her, rather than to Jennifer Aniston, Julia Roberts, Angelina Jolie, or any other supposedly attractive female "superstar." But the reed-thin Kruger is nevertheless a far cry from what the actual Helen of Troy would have looked like.

Perhaps the producers realized this, because, in a rare move for Hollywood, Kruger was actually asked to gain weight to earn the part. As reported in FWD:

"It took them like four months to cast me," Kruger remembers. "I had to fly to London and meet Wolfgang and the producers and I knew that Wolfgang liked me, but I didn't hear from anyone for weeks and then, I had to fly to Los Angeles, and meet the director of Warner Brothers. That was very intimidating. He said to me, 'You know, Diane, we've seen three thousand women and we've seen faces that could launch a hundred ships, some five hundred, but we're really looking for the one that can launch a thousand.' I was like, 'That's great. I guess my chances are huge at this point.'"

She pretty much gave up in the idea of getting the part, and then came the offer, with the caveat that in order to get the contract, she had to gain some weight.

"Then they called me back weeks later and said, 'Well, we like your acting, but you should gain about twelve pounds. That'd be good.' All of this was without having the movie. So, it's not like I get the part and I sort of get into character. So, I gained twelve pounds," she shrugs.

Gaining the weight wasn't too big a problem for the 5'8" 26-year-old; in fact, it was pretty simple.

"I did it by eating a lot," she laughs.

A lot? Here is a still image of Kruger from Troy, protruding bones and all. She looks as if her Trojan captors kept her in their prison, rather than in the royal palace. One wonders how she could ever have weighed twelve pounds less than this.

Admittedly, Kruger could have been a beautiful Helen--but only if the producers had asked her to gain twelve dress sizes, rather than pounds.

The hair and styling is gorgeous, though. It makes one realize just how marvelous Jen's proposed layout featuring plus-size models dressed in classical apparel could be.

For a look at a genuine goddess, here is Valerie Lefkowitz on the cover of Dress Barn's Spring 2004 fashion circular. (This was actually a lovely, high-quality booklet featuring many breathtaking images of Valerie and Jordan.) Surely the Helen of antiquity could not have exceeded Valerie in the divine wonder of her beauty.

The rugged landscape calls to mind the terrain of the lands around the eastern Mediterranean, which makes it easy to imagine Valerie in the role of Helen, awaiting the ships of the Achean fleet, en route to conquer Troy and bring the bride of Paris back to Sparta. The historical Helen might have been dressed somewhat differently, but Valerie looks so ravishing in "berry colours" that who can complain?

The aesthetic restoration has now progressed far enough that the central saga of the classical age will soon come alive for a contemporary audience, in (hopefully) a relatively faithful version. We trust that it will prompt a new interest in the foundations of Western culture, and that this will lead many individuals to discover the true nature of timeless beauty.

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