By Gabrielle Bremer – Through the Lens Photography

Looking through an art gallery in Florence, Italy I realized that

1. The Italians love their nudity

2. The nude women were not skinny

This made me think about how our ideas of beauty have and have not changed in the past 500 years. The woman in the painting below is Venus. Venus is considered one of the most beautiful women in the world and she is obviously not a size zero. But I think that if you asked someone to paint Venus now based on society’s views she would look very different. 

How our idea’s on beauty have changed:
If you go into any magazine right now what do you see? Most of the time skinny people. There is rarely a “plus sized” woman. I asked myself “How did our ideas of beauty change so much?” and I am still not able to answer this question. Another thing that has changed is skin color in advertisements. In America and Europe we see more different types of skin color than in places like Asia where there are only pale people in ads. 

How our ideas on beauty have not changed:
Society thinks that the paler you are the better. 500 years ago the paler you were the prettier you were and the higher up in class you were. This is obviously not true. You can see that there are darker people that are absolutely beautiful like people from India. Women there have dark skin, long black hair, and dark brown eyes and all they want is to be pale, which I can’t understand why because they are gorgeous and that is only one example. You could go to all of these different countries with beautiful people and they want to be pale. Sad but true. 

Europe vs. America
Before coming to Italy I thought that there was only one attractive body type. I thought that all men were only attracted to skinny girls. In Europe this is certainly not true. They tend to go for the fuller women with hips, a waist, and a butt. In America I’m usually not hit on but I come here and men are hitting on me and one even bought me a drink. It’s amazing how different it is over here compared to back home.

I’m not saying that one body type is better than the other. I’m just pointing out society’s views and comparing and contrasting between time periods and cultures and how interesting I found it. I don’t think that one skin color or body type is better than any other because there are a lot of beautiful people with different shades of skin and body types. I personally think that society should start to include more of a mix of people in advertisements and maybe our opinions on what is beautiful will change for the better.


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