In ancient Greece the rules of beauty were all important. Things were good for men who were buff and glossy. And for women, fuller-figured redheads were in favour – but they had to contend with an ominous undercurrent, historian Bettany Hughes explains.
A full-lipped, cheek-chiselled man in Ancient Greece knew two things – that his beauty was a blessing (a gift of the gods no less) and that his perfect exterior hid an inner perfection. For the Greeks a beautiful body was considered direct evidence of a beautiful mind. They even had a word for it – kaloskagathos – which meant being gorgeous to look at, and hence being a good person.
Not very politically correct, I know, but the horrible truth is that pretty Greek boys would have swaggered around convinced they were triply blessed – beautiful, brainy and god-beloved. So what made them fit? For years, classical Greek sculpture was believed to be a perfectionist fantasy – an impossible ideal, but we now think a number of the exquisite statues from the 5th to the 3rd Centuries BC were in fact cast from life – a real person was covered with plaster, and the mould created was then used to make the sculpture.
Read more at BBC: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-30746985