Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Greek Ideal

The Greeks were obsessed with perfection. They were especially keen on the perfection of the human form, but did not limit themselves to the human form as far as perfection goes. They applied the golden ratio to their architecture as well as sculptures. Oddly enough, men were the only beings with perfect bodies. In almost all Greek artwork women are covered and practically formless, at least until later in the high classical and Hellenistic periods when they gain a little bit of sensuality. It’s as if they didn’t see any perfection or attraction to the female figure. The men have more than just a form; they practically never have clothes on, it is all form. This is attributed to the Greeks overly masculine nature and male superiority. Can we say the same thing today though?

The mentality of searching for physical perfection is still around today. We see it all over the media, not just on television. When you think about, however, the standard of perfection is still consistent for the males yet has never been consistent for the females. From Greek times to the present, men have had to be chiseled, athletic, tall, and generally masculine. There seems to be no real standard for female perfection. The standard for women changes every decade or so. It was the corset, then the standard was big hips with a tiny waist, somewhere along the line women being a little chubby was considered attractive, then it moved to a general slender physique from head to toe for an even appearance.

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