The changing body image

Body Images changed from time to time. We all know this. We know that today we have a lot of issues with the body image as well. We see super skinny models in social media, on the TV or see advertisement all around us, telling us to loose weight, be skinny or affecting our self consciousness in negative ways.

In the renaissance, people had a different understanding of beauty and body images. I found this picture on Pinterest and the Met Museum.


Its title is “Venus and the Lute Player” by Titian.  From the first impression of this painting I could tell that the body image was so different from our views today. Venus, a goddess everybody admired, is shown as a pretty bulky woman. She is the center of the picture and obviously shown to be admired and to see her beauty. This picture wants to argue about visual and acoustic beauty, showing the guitar player in the back ground. You can tell, already in the Renaissance, people were aware of beauty and differences. Only were people, who are bigger seen as more attractive, since those women will be more likely to have more children and more success during childbirth.

The article “Perceptions of beauty in Renaissance art”  tells that most pictures in the Renaissance were not based on real faces or expression so it states: “Often the same facial type was repeated in many different paintings” (Neil Haughton).

This image is called “Portrait of a young men” by Bronzino, which is used in the article from Neil Haughton.


Here he explains that artists were sometimes criticized for showing their models too thin or changing other parts of the body. He states that those changes “may lead to unrealistic expectations in young people,
contributing to anorexia and low self esteem” (Haughton). So already in this period people were aware that you should not change the vision of the body image. We compare ourselves to what we see. In the past it was paintings, sculptures or actors. Today it is the exact same, advertisements, social media, actors, models, all those things influence our self view. We want to copy them and be like them.

Going back to the 21st century, women are getting influences by media and opinions from others. In a Ted Talk presentation from the model Cameron Russell she describes the body image today and how the title says: “Looks aren’t  everything”. She explains that 53% of 13 year old American girls are unhappy with their body and this also increases to 78% at the age of 17. She answers questions about modeling in all honesty and tells the audience that being a model itself, makes insecure. (Russell)

This shows the importance of this issue. It matters to all of us, we all are influenced by media and negative body images. Children grow up insecure. We need to change this. We need to see how much more we are worth. There are a lot of organisations and changes in the making to help prevent eating disorders and help building higher self esteem in everybody’s life.





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