Do you like skinny Venus??


In the modern world, we are convinced that lean top models represent our ideal of feminine beauty. Not so our forefathers, who mostly appreciated a buxom woman, with small breast but bigger bottom, wide hips, a soft belly. Painters of past times had represented Venus, the beauty goddess, this way.

Besides recognizing the artistic beauty of such pictures,  to our modern eye these women actually look a little bit “too much”, as we are continuously affected by advertisement and images of very very lean women, sometimes skinny women. This paradigm “thinner is better” is stressing quite dangerously our way of thinking about woman’s body, and it causes some troubles to western women and girls who may not feel at ease when they cannot match such demanding standard.

The Italian artist Anna Utopia Giordano tried an experiment. With Photoshop, she manipulated 10 Venus masterpieces to transform the ancient goddess to a nowadays top model: in each picture, basing on modern beauty ideal, she touched-up the Venus’ bodies by slimming the waistlines, reducing the thighs and the bottom, and enlarging the breast.

She actually canceled all the imperfections – or better, she canceled all those particulars that modern western people feel as imperfection.

The result is quite surprising: the modernized Venus sometimes looks nicer to our eye, sometimes she looks terrible, and every picture is almost unrecognizable compared to the original painting.

Apart from highlighting once again the amazing possibilities of digital technologies applied to art, this job from Anna Giordano is indeed a good cue to reconsider both the subjectivity of cultural standards (in facts, ours are so different from the past ones) and the inclination of modern society and advertising companies to edit most images of  feminine body in order to reach a fake perfection, corresponding to an unreachable reality.

For further information about the artist:

  1. Markxyo2 says:

    Hi, just a thought, with modelling the picture maker adjusts the position from where the figure is viewed according to the height and shape of the subject, to properly compare these pieces the whole composition would need to be reconsidered, as the artist would respond very differently according to the figure and where the centre of interest, lines of sight would be placed. More of the differences found are from how paintings and drawings are created and how photos are made.

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