Venus Downsized

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.
Presented by

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.

The Horrors of Rat Hole Mining

"The river was our source of water. Now, the people won't touch it. They are repulsed by it."

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Horrors of Rat Hole Mining

"The river was our source of water. Now, the people won't touch it."

Video

What's Your Favorite Slang Word?

From "swag" to "on fleek," tweens choose.

Video

Cryotherapy's Dubious Appeal

James Hamblin tries a questionable medical treatment.

Video

Confessions of Moms Around the World

In Europe, mothers get maternity leave, discounted daycare, and flexible working hours.

Video

How Do Trees Know When It's Spring?

The science behind beautiful seasonal blooming

More in Entertainment

From This Author

Just In