Essay on How the Ideal Body Image Has Changed Through History

1575 Words 7 Pages
How the ideal body has changed over time and what the future holds This painting was created in 1509 and a section from the plaque below the painting reads “This mysterious painting is meant to be an allegory of Poetry, whose symbols – the flute and the pouring water – are shared between two nude women of ideal beauty. These unreal figures exist only in the imaginations of the two men they inspire.” This painting shows that just over 500 years ago the ideal body was one of robust and physically larger women. This painting was created in 1863, just over 350 years after the painting above. This shows that in over 350 years the ideal body did not change as this painting still depicts women whom people today may classify as …show more content…
How the ideal body has changed over time and what the future holds This painting was created in 1509 and a section from the plaque below the painting reads “This mysterious painting is meant to be an allegory of Poetry, whose symbols – the flute and the pouring water – are shared between two nude women of ideal beauty. These unreal figures exist only in the imaginations of the two men they inspire.” This painting shows that just over 500 years ago the ideal body was one of robust and physically larger women. This painting was created in 1863, just over 350 years after the painting above. This shows that in over 350 years the ideal body did not change as this painting still depicts women whom people today may classify as being ‘larger’. Also, it is clear that that this is the ideal body at that time as the two men who are with the women are vying for the women’s attention. From the 1500s onwards, up until the mid 1800s the ideal woman's body was larger. Peter Stearn, a historian, explained this in his book ‘Fat History: Bodies and Beauty in the Modern West’ by writing that “in those days, slenderness may indicate malnutrition or disease, whereas plumpness was seen as a sign of affluence, health, good temperament and maternal function”. During this era, famine was a regular occurrence and it was common for women to consider reproducing as her duty. This meant that a well-fed wife who had wide hips from child bearing looked favourably on her husband.

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