Wednesday, March 5, 2008

What Greek beliefs about the human being and the human body are continured to this day?

I love looking at Greek statues (or Roman copies of them). If it's one culture that truly tried to understand and perfect the human form, it was the Greeks. This was continued by the Romans, though to a truer-to-life degree.

I think this idea of perfection has continued throughout history in varying ways. While art and homage to the human body flourished in Greek (and then Roman) culture, it fell with the rise of the Dark Ages and the fall of the Roman Empire. Luckily, the later renaissances brought back the Greek and Roman ideas.

I think that today's idea of beauty is highly distorted compared to the Greeks', and even then they made their figures almost super heroic. Though I can't say if the Greek populace agonized over whether or not they were as pretty as Aphrodite or Eros, today's image of beauty and perfection seems less unattainable and even falser than the Greek image.

Clearly, what is considered beautiful and perfect changes over the ages, and "classic" beauty is sometimes shown some favour. I think that the Greek male body type (in all its super human glory) is still regarded as perfection with a modern emphasis on certain anatomical parts that weren't deemed so important. However, the female image of perfect beauty is much changed with less emphasis on a healthy, full-figured appearance to one that is hardly considered safe (in fact, it seems to cause more health problems than it does perfect images).

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