Venus Downsized

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Masters.jpg

Artist Anna Utopia Giordano went in on the Old Masters, photo-shopping portraits of Venus to fit today's modern beauty standards. Bob Duggan calls the results "grotesque" in an illuminating way. I don't know. I think I missed something here. In each case they just look like thinner versions of the original. In terms of beauty, my raw man-sense doesn't have much of preference. I don't know what that says about me.

I'm always a bit skeptical when we romanticize the alleged beauty standards of the past, unmoored from the actual uncomfortable past that brought them to be. Things change for actual reasons--and just as often they don't change at all.
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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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