Saturday, September 26, 2015

Ideal Body

The Greeks where always striving for the perfect proportions in their art. Temples and other buildings were not proper unless they were proportional and symmetry. Not only the temple but also body proportions were held to a high standard, shown in sculpture. To depict the human form sets of “perfect” mathematical ratios and proportion were made. The earliest known use of these mathematics was in Egypt. The Egyptians influenced Greek sculptors in the Archaic period-- an example being the Kouros-- by making sculptures perfectly symmetrical, which also made the sculptures stiff looking. Over time, sculptors who wanted to depict the perfect human body did not base it on a real person but on a defined harmony among parts. The Classical and Hellenistic periods became increasingly interested in presenting the human body in more natural poses along with symmetry. As the years go on body ideals change and there are all these new mathematics, like the golden ratio, to figure out if one is "perfect." A video by BuzzFeed I found online shows the different idealized bodies over the centuries, specifying on women.



3 comments:

Ashley Bossier said...

I was just thinking about this the other day when I saw the sculpture of Athena. The sculpture is supposed to have the ideal body, but she looked a little chubby. She wasn't fat, but she was bigger than what we associate with the perfect body now a days. Today we look at Victoria Secret models as the perfect humans, well at least I do. I think it is strange how not even 50 years ago Marilyn Monroe had the ideal body. Marilyn was curvy as can be and she was considered perfect by so many men and women around the world. Now, half a century later, we look at these models who only have 5% body fat and think they are perfect. I wonder what the next "ideal body" will look like.

Jac said...

It is strange how "ideal" body changes over the years. However, like Anastasia said, I feel like the actual concept of "perfection" is based on a mathematical formula. Even today, there is a test that calculates the symmetry of your face that will tell you a percentage of how visually attractive you are considered (by this application's standards). It is strange to consider this, because even if someone likes a wider nose than another person, or prefers thin, high-arched brows to thick low-arched brows, it is calculated into the algorithm. It is not based upon preference, but rather on how equal the left side of the face is to the right side. Strangely enough, there is no application for body type calculation, simply because some people like thicker women, and some people like stick-thin female bodies. It is all based upon an individual's "ideal" attraction.

Belin Manalle said...

I find the Hellenistic style of art extremely interesting. Mostly because it took so long throughout the road of artistic progress to start depicting people and situations realistically. I don't understand why it was such a big step for people to accept how their bodies really are. But I guess things aren't that different now if you think about it. All public figures have the perfect body and perfect skin and are depicted as flawless. Models are especially unrealistic. Of course designers don't tell you that their models are forced to go on a very strict diet before shows. Therefore come show time onlookers are amazed by the models perfection. So really when you think about it, things really haven't changed. I shouldn't be amazed of the struggle to accept people's bodies during that time in art.