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  #1  
Old 07-01-2012, 01:06 PM
Standarduser Standarduser is offline
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Did people love obese women in the past?

Is it a myth, or a fact?
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  #2  
Old 07-01-2012, 01:46 PM
Ambivalid Ambivalid is offline
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Did people love obese women in the past?

Yes. Just like they do today.
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  #3  
Old 07-01-2012, 01:48 PM
Dendarii Dame Dendarii Dame is offline
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It's true. In the past, larger women were considered more attractive (and more likely to be of a higher income level, because they could afford the food.) Larger women were more likely to be able to have children and make it through famine.

Look at art from centuries ago, and many of the models are (by 21st century standards) quite large.
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Old 07-01-2012, 01:52 PM
Ambivalid Ambivalid is offline
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Originally Posted by Dendarii Dame View Post
Look at art from centuries ago, and many of the models are (by 21st century standards) quite large.
Cite?
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  #5  
Old 07-01-2012, 02:02 PM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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Originally Posted by Ambivalid View Post
Cite?
Ever heard of Rubens?
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  #6  
Old 07-01-2012, 02:14 PM
mister nyx mister nyx is offline
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Ever heard of Rubens?
The word "rubenesque" probably wouldn't have developed had Rubens's art not been an obvious outlier.
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Old 07-01-2012, 02:41 PM
Slithy Tove Slithy Tove is offline
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Rubens' voluptuaries were a reaction against centuries of wan, thin women (such as those by Cranach the Elder). But it wasn't about beauty: thin/skeletal figures were in those paintings to support the Church's view that starvation and suffering in general is virtuous. Rubens and the (Northern) Rennaisance was saying "fuck that. Bring on the chubby babes and have 'em feed me grapes!"

While fashions seesaw, and 1890's 200-lb music hall beauties are replaced by 1920's flapppers, then by 1950 starlets with ball-peen tits, then Twiggy, then 1980's jazzercise hardbodies with shoulders pads... The cynic on me notes that there has always been one constant ideal in feminine fuckability: and it's the woman just this side of pedophilia.
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Old 07-01-2012, 02:44 PM
Freudian Slit Freudian Slit is offline
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Originally Posted by Zsofia View Post
Ever heard of Rubens?
Those women are definitely fleshy but I'm not sure I'd go so far as "obese."
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  #9  
Old 07-01-2012, 03:00 PM
Fear Itself Fear Itself is offline
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Originally Posted by mister nyx View Post
The word "rubenesque" probably wouldn't have developed had Rubens's art not been an obvious outlier.
I doubt 'rubenesque' was used until long after Rubens died and fashions changed towards thinner women.
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Old 07-01-2012, 03:32 PM
mister nyx mister nyx is offline
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I doubt 'rubenesque' was used until long after Rubens died and fashions changed towards thinner women.
I'm sure it didn't but regardless, most of Rubens's contemporaries were not in the habit of depicting women who were as voluptuous as he painted.
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Old 07-01-2012, 03:40 PM
robert_columbia robert_columbia is offline
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Yes. Just like they do today.
<3
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  #12  
Old 07-01-2012, 03:45 PM
Dr. Drake Dr. Drake is offline
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Would the OP clarify what he/she means by obese, and who we're talking about in "the past"? In general, super-skinny is not the norm for attractive in human women, nor is the-fatter-the-better. There is plenty of cultural and individual variation, though, and it's not like everybody was the same in the past any more than they are now.

All that I think it's safe to say is that the portrayal of attractive women in visual media in popular culture in the contemporary Western world (and recent past) is thinner than seems to be the norm for human beings as a whole. I don't even think that reflects our OWN culture, much less some break with an imagined past.
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  #13  
Old 07-01-2012, 03:46 PM
Max the Immortal Max the Immortal is offline
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How confident can we be that old paintings showed what was the standard of beauty at the time? Is there a clear paper trail that rules out "politics"? I sometimes wonder if a painter knew that it would be expedient to praise the body type of the queen or his patron's wife, even if it didn't represent what he or most people at the time considered to be the most beautiful body type.

On a similar note, how pale was fashionably pale skin? Was it common for someone to go too far and end up looking silly? Nowadays we certainly see a number of people who go too far in their efforts to get a fashionable tan and end up looking all orangy. We have people snickering, "He looks like an Oompa-Loompa!"; did they have people snickering, "She looks like a corpse!"?
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  #14  
Old 07-01-2012, 03:50 PM
astro astro is online now
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Originally Posted by Dendarii Dame View Post
It's true. In the past, larger women were considered more attractive (and more likely to be of a higher income level, because they could afford the food.) Larger women were more likely to be able to have children and make it through famine.

Look at art from centuries ago, and many of the models are (by 21st century standards) quite large.
Within limits. IIRC there was some early Abe Lincoln correspondence where he discussed some marriageable young lady in his area, but he characterized her as was undesirable/ unattractive because she was quite fat.

Last edited by astro; 07-01-2012 at 03:51 PM..
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  #15  
Old 07-01-2012, 04:03 PM
AncientHumanoid AncientHumanoid is offline
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Within limits. IIRC there was some early Abe Lincoln correspondence where he discussed some marriageable young lady in his area, but he characterized her as was undesirable/ unattractive because she was quite fat.
And a vampire.

I would WAG that for many hetero men, of any time period, a woman needs to looks like a woman (curves of some sort) to be physically desirable. IOW, "I want to have sexual relations with this obviously female person, wow wow." Too skinny for curves may be some guy's boat, as is so big that you have to move things around to get to the good stuff. Obviously, this is IMHO and YMMV and you may even have cites against my opinion, so there.

Other factors would possibly also come into play, tho, just like today. Perceived qualities that are not physical in nature.
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  #16  
Old 07-01-2012, 04:19 PM
Ambivalid Ambivalid is offline
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Originally Posted by Zsofia View Post
Ever heard of Rubens?
Yes.
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  #17  
Old 07-01-2012, 04:23 PM
AncientHumanoid AncientHumanoid is offline
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Originally Posted by NoClueBoy View Post
Perceived qualities that are not physical in nature.
But may be hinted at (correctly or not) by certain physical attributes.


(got busy and missed edit window)
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  #18  
Old 07-01-2012, 04:54 PM
pravnik pravnik is offline
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I did in college a couple of times.
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  #19  
Old 07-01-2012, 06:24 PM
Daylate Daylate is offline
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The paintings of Rubens are the best example I can think of to illustrate that cellulite is not really a modern phenomenom.
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  #20  
Old 07-01-2012, 06:46 PM
Thudlow Boink Thudlow Boink is offline
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Originally Posted by NoClueBoy View Post
I would WAG that for many hetero men, of any time period, a woman needs to looks like a woman (curves of some sort) to be physically desirable.
Matt Ridley's The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature brings up the research of psychologist Dev Singh as evidence that what really matters, in what men find attractive in women, is the waist-to-hip ratio.
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Singh noticed that however much the weight of Playboy centerfolds changed, one feature did not: the ratio of their waist width to their hip width.
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he showed his subjects a range of drawings of female forms, which varied according to their weight and according to their waist-to-hip ratio. He found that a heavy woman with a low ratio of waist to hips was usually preferred to a thin woman with a high ratio. The ideal figure was the one with the lowest ratio, not the one with the thinnest torso.
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  #21  
Old 07-01-2012, 07:12 PM
Der Trihs Der Trihs is online now
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The cynic on me notes that there has always been one constant ideal in feminine fuckability: and it's the woman just this side of pedophilia.
Probably a side effect of human pair bonding; if you are going to be with one female for your & her entire life, then it makes sense to pick the youngest one possible since she'll be fertile longest. A species like chimps that doesn't pair bond also has no concern over age beyond "are they fertile".

Last edited by Der Trihs; 07-01-2012 at 07:13 PM..
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  #22  
Old 07-01-2012, 08:05 PM
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dang, at least half the people i see out in the great unwashed public are obese, seems to be plenty of loving going around, too.
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  #23  
Old 07-01-2012, 08:11 PM
DrFidelius DrFidelius is offline
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Is it a myth, or a fact?
Well, my lovely and long-suffering wife has dropped more than ninety pounds over the past three years. She had maintained a very steady weight from the we were dating, so I do offer myself as an example of someone who did love an obese woman in the past.
We now represent a real-life sitcom example of the funny-looking pudgy schlub of a husband with an inexplicably hot wife.
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  #24  
Old 07-01-2012, 08:18 PM
R. P. McMurphy R. P. McMurphy is offline
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It wasn't just women. Let's forget obese. Some excess fat was seen as attractive in many cultures because is signaled affluence.

Look at the Buddha that is revered in southeast Asia. He has a huge stomach. The Indian Buddha is much thinner for whatever reason.

When I was traveling by bicycle in southeast Asia I had started a middle aged bulge. There were people that approached me and some were so forward as to rub my abdomen. I'd just smile. That bulge that I hate was to them a sign of good luck and affluence. They wanted some of it to rub off on them.
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  #25  
Old 07-01-2012, 09:02 PM
Ají de Gallina Ají de Gallina is offline
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Originally Posted by R. P. McMurphy View Post
It wasn't just women. Let's forget obese. Some excess fat was seen as attractive in many cultures because is signaled affluence.

Look at the Buddha that is revered in southeast Asia. He has a huge stomach. The Indian Buddha is much thinner for whatever reason.

When I was traveling by bicycle in southeast Asia I had started a middle aged bulge. There were people that approached me and some were so forward as to rub my abdomen. I'd just smile. That bulge that I hate was to them a sign of good luck and affluence. They wanted some of it to rub off on them.
The classical fat, jolly Buddha is not the real dude. He's a buddhist monk called Budhai.
Skinny Buddha is much closer to the real guy.

Last edited by Ají de Gallina; 07-01-2012 at 09:03 PM..
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  #26  
Old 07-01-2012, 10:09 PM
pravnik pravnik is offline
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The classical fat, jolly Buddha is not the real dude. He's a buddhist monk called Budhai.
Skinny Buddha is much closer to the real guy.
Right - the chubby guy is a Buddha, but not the Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama. The jolly chubby guy is Budhai, aka Hotei, "cloth sack," the Laughing Buddha. The thin Indian representation is Siddartha Gautama. Budhai is a symbol of happiness, luck and contentment; he's a poor monk with all his belongings in a bag, but he's fat and happy.
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  #27  
Old 07-01-2012, 10:43 PM
Ambivalid Ambivalid is offline
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Let's forget obese.
Then let's forget this thread, too.
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  #28  
Old 07-01-2012, 10:45 PM
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Some people like fat chicks, some like thin. The smart ones like women for who they are beyond their shape, age, skin color or the current fashion.

IMO, of course.
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  #29  
Old 07-01-2012, 10:47 PM
Ambivalid Ambivalid is offline
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The smart ones like women for who they are beyond their shape, age, skin color or the current fashion.
nm

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  #30  
Old 07-01-2012, 10:56 PM
carnut carnut is offline
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nm
No, Ambivalid. I am an imperfect, but smart, woman.
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  #31  
Old 07-01-2012, 11:25 PM
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Porn from the dawn of film featured women who were much heavier than is the current "ideal". Most of the "French postcards" I've seen featured similar women.

Even Muybridge's motion study women, who were presumably professional artist's models, had a little paunch.

None of these would be considered, in a rational world, "obese". But they would be via the BMI.
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Old 07-01-2012, 11:34 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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None of these would be considered, in a rational world, "obese". But they would be via the BMI.
I probably should shut up, but I don't think this is true. None of the "French postcard" women looked like they would qualify as "obese" by the BMI numbers. "Overweight," yes. "Obese," no. We're talking about 192 pounds for a 5' 7" women to be considered obese. There's no way the average French postcard woman is in that range.
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Old 07-01-2012, 11:38 PM
clairobscur clairobscur is online now
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nor is the-fatter-the-better. .

"gavage" of women in Mauritania
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  #34  
Old 07-01-2012, 11:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Slithy Tove View Post
The cynic on me notes that there has always been one constant ideal in feminine fuckability: and it's the woman just this side of pedophilia.
Complete nonsense.

Different men look for many different thing sexually.

For one example; big tits are very popular among men, this in no way supports pedophillia.

Your statemant is patently false, insulting to men, and evidence of your ignorance.
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Old 07-02-2012, 12:03 AM
Ambivalid Ambivalid is offline
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No, Ambivalid. I am an imperfect, but smart, woman.
I have absolutely no idea what you could possibly be talking about.





















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  #36  
Old 07-02-2012, 12:13 AM
AaronX AaronX is offline
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I don't know if this is considered obese, but in China's Tang Dynasty, "It was fashionable for women to be full-figured (or plump)." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tang_dynasty#Tang_women
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Old 07-02-2012, 03:34 AM
Sleel Sleel is offline
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Even at the time, Rubens artistic subjects were notable, so much so that apparently the Dutch equivalent of the term "Rubenesque" was coined as a euphemism in Ruben's heyday. See Rembrandt's work for a completely different subject style from a contemporary artist.

I don't know if any art historians would agree with my interpretation, but I've always seen Baroque art as a combination of two influences: a reflection of the artists' patrons and their tastes, and a reaction away from both the classical ideals of antiquity and the neoclassical influences of the Renaissance.

Classical Greek and Roman sculpture and paintings were generally idealized versions of their subjects. Like our modern movie photography of actors and actresses, they tried to make something look its best, better than normal reality. Renaissance art adopted those ideals and then developed new ideas diverging from them, but were heavily influenced by Platonic ideals of beauty.

How is this related to the fat chicks in Rubens' paintings? Baroque style is about excessive detail and fanciful and exuberant themes. I think it was a reaction against the simple beauty of the preceding art movements. Part of that was the naturalistic yet exaggerated depiction of the people Rubens used as his subjects; primarily upper class men and women. While they may not have objected to Rubens if he'd depicted them as an idealized person, some men might have complained that they were muscled like a laborer, or tanned like a field hand. The women may have complained that the result was too sylph-like, or made them look like country milk-maids instead of upper class women.

Rubens probably painted pretty much what he saw; flabby middle-aged idle rich who ate too much crappy food. Refined sugar started to be introduced around this time, but I'm sure that's a coincidence. Of course, it's also not hard to see that Rubens probably was a bit of a chubby chaser considering how…intent he was on this particular body type. But one thing is pretty clear, Rubens' work was an outlier even at that time.
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Old 07-02-2012, 06:43 AM
Fear Itself Fear Itself is offline
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Even at the time, Rubens artistic subjects were notable, so much so that apparently the Dutch equivalent of the term "Rubenesque" was coined as a euphemism in Ruben's heyday.
What is the Dutch equivalent of "Rubenesque"?
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  #39  
Old 07-02-2012, 08:06 AM
Slithy Tove Slithy Tove is offline
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Complete nonsense.

Different men look for many different thing sexually.

For one example; big tits are very popular among men, this in no way supports pedophillia.

Your statemant is patently false, insulting to men, and evidence of your ignorance.
Where do men go for the women they want?

Brothels

What kind of women are found in most brothels?

I have been to the Philippines and Tijuana with thousands of young men with money in their pockets. There are some ugly things I wish I were truly ignorant of.

Last edited by Slithy Tove; 07-02-2012 at 08:06 AM..
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  #40  
Old 07-02-2012, 08:19 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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Originally Posted by Sleel View Post
Even at the time, Rubens artistic subjects were notable, so much so that apparently the Dutch equivalent of the term "Rubenesque" was coined as a euphemism in Ruben's heyday. See Rembrandt's work for a completely different subject style from a contemporary artist.

I don't know if any art historians would agree with my interpretation, but I've always seen Baroque art as a combination of two influences: a reflection of the artists' patrons and their tastes, and a reaction away from both the classical ideals of antiquity and the neoclassical influences of the Renaissance.

Classical Greek and Roman sculpture and paintings were generally idealized versions of their subjects. Like our modern movie photography of actors and actresses, they tried to make something look its best, better than normal reality. Renaissance art adopted those ideals and then developed new ideas diverging from them, but were heavily influenced by Platonic ideals of beauty.

How is this related to the fat chicks in Rubens' paintings? Baroque style is about excessive detail and fanciful and exuberant themes. I think it was a reaction against the simple beauty of the preceding art movements. Part of that was the naturalistic yet exaggerated depiction of the people Rubens used as his subjects; primarily upper class men and women. While they may not have objected to Rubens if he'd depicted them as an idealized person, some men might have complained that they were muscled like a laborer, or tanned like a field hand. The women may have complained that the result was too sylph-like, or made them look like country milk-maids instead of upper class women.

Rubens probably painted pretty much what he saw; flabby middle-aged idle rich who ate too much crappy food. Refined sugar started to be introduced around this time, but I'm sure that's a coincidence. Of course, it's also not hard to see that Rubens probably was a bit of a chubby chaser considering how…intent he was on this particular body type. But one thing is pretty clear, Rubens' work was an outlier even at that time.
Many of Rubens' later paintings were of his wife, Helene Foyurment, who was also his niece, and almost 40 years his junior. He loved painting and sketching her. I think his love of plump female subjects precedes his marriage, though, so I thionk Rubens liked 'em plump.



As for Buddha, not only is the original ideal thin, there is actually a category of "starving Buddhas" in classical Buddhist art, where he is skeletally thin. There are several examples in Alice Getty's book The Gods of Northern Buddhism -- and none of the "fat jolly Buddha". Incidentally, although everyomne here is giving the same story about the Fat Buddha, I've heard or read three different ones over the years, with no clear consensus as to the true origin.




There have been many periods of Fat art. Have a look at the miniature portraits of Moghul leaders
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  #41  
Old 07-02-2012, 08:42 AM
Iggy Iggy is offline
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Not just love.

Ancient cultures sometimes seemed to worship obese fertility goddesses.
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  #42  
Old 07-02-2012, 09:19 PM
Sleel Sleel is offline
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What is the Dutch equivalent of "Rubenesque"?
Rubensiaans.
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  #43  
Old 07-02-2012, 09:34 PM
Fear Itself Fear Itself is offline
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The reason I ask is, the use of 'Rubenesque' to describe large women didn't appear until 1913. I would be surprised if there was a Dutch word in common usage for 250 years with no English equivalent.
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:12 PM
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From what I recall of several science articles, the thing that most men apparently used to evaluate "desirable" was a waist to hips ratio of 2:3 - basically the classic 36-24-36 shape, but chest size optional. Scientific thinking was this indicated a hip width suitable for childbearing but not too much fat of the morbidly obese variety. (like Sue Johannson's sex show where she asked the fat caller "do you have an apron"? Meaning something other than a garment. ) it's the shape not the size.

It's often been pointed out that Marilyn Monroe was a size 14 or 12, not like today where a 6 is considered fat (sadly).

Men look for young and healthy, basically good breeding stock. If they appear to have many years of childbearing left, better. So what appeals to men is more likely than not, teens and early twenties. (or, anything with a pulse...) if the laws of some states have conspired to make this illegal in some cases, well, it's evolution vs. Puritanism. Wonder which wins in the long run?

plus, evolution plays the game too. See an earlier thread on age of menses... Girls will develop secondary characteristics to attract a mate usually a while before they begin ovulating, menstruating, and can actually reproduce. For some reason, often by default attributed to nutrition, this age has gotten significantly younger in the last century or two.

A certain amount of subcutaneous fat both creates the aesthetically pleasing curves and softness in women, and also subconsciously signals she has the resources to bear a child even if food becomes scarce. After all, before Roe v Wade, once a woman started on her bundle of joy, she was stuck on that path for the next nine months. Having some fat reserves helped.

Finally the biggest sex organ in the human body is between the ears. What things appeal to some people... There's a mind numbing variety.

Last edited by md2000; 07-02-2012 at 10:13 PM..
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  #45  
Old 07-03-2012, 09:40 AM
elmwood elmwood is offline
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It's often been pointed out that Marilyn Monroe was a size 14 or 12, not like today where a 6 is considered fat (sadly).
A size 12 in Marilyn Monroe's day was the equivalent of a size 6 today.

http://jezebel.com/5299793/for-the-l...marilyn-monroe
http://www.snopes.com/movies/actors/mmdress.asp
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/0..._n_186633.html
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Old 07-03-2012, 11:24 AM
md2000 md2000 is offline
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Snopes says 8-10.
Jezebel says 5'5.5" and 118-140lb. with somewhat unorthodox distribution...
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According to measurements from Marilyn Monroe's dressmaker:
Height: 5 feet, 5˝ inches
Weight: 118-140 pounds
Bust: 35-37 inches
Waist: 22-23 inches
Hips: 35-36 inches
Bra size: 36D
So while she was not one of Reuben's favourite models, she certainly was not Olsen-twins or Nicole Ritchie or most of the anorexia-obsessed current celebrities. Thankfully...

5-5 and 140 is probably not what most modern women are told is acceptable by fashion magazines and popular culture.

Last edited by md2000; 07-03-2012 at 11:27 AM..
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Old 07-03-2012, 12:07 PM
elmwood elmwood is offline
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5-5 and 140 is probably not what most modern women are told is acceptable by fashion magazines and popular culture.
5' 5" and 140 pounds:

http://www.mybodygallery.com/search....5+5&weight=140
http://www.cockeyed.com/photos/bodies/505-140.html

Some of those pictured have a little "chunk", but they're not fat or obese by the standards of most. 5' 5" and 118 pounds is DEFINITELY not obese by anyone's standards.

You can't equate women who are 5'5"/140 with those who are BBWs, OkCupid curvy, obese, or whatever.

Quote:
So while she was not one of Reuben's favourite models, she certainly was not Olsen-twins or Nicole Ritchie or most of the anorexia-obsessed current celebrities. Thankfully...
Nor was she huge, either, which is what some would have you believe. "Everybody lusted after Marilyn Monroe in the 1950s, and she was a size 12/14/16. Plus-sized models today are usually around size 12. Thus, they liked them much bigger back then." Bullshit.

Last edited by elmwood; 07-03-2012 at 12:10 PM..
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  #48  
Old 07-03-2012, 12:12 PM
greenslime1951 greenslime1951 is offline
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In a brief period from 1973-1975, female models would slather themselves with sauerkraut and Thousand-Island dressing so they would look "Rubenesque." The fad died out when someone pointed out the spelling error.
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  #49  
Old 07-03-2012, 12:39 PM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenslime1951 View Post
In a brief period from 1973-1975, female models would slather themselves with sauerkraut and Thousand-Island dressing so they would look "Rubenesque."
That's hot.

Regards,
Shodan

Last edited by Shodan; 07-03-2012 at 12:40 PM.. Reason: Shouldn't it be Reubenesque?
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  #50  
Old 07-03-2012, 02:31 PM
malkavia malkavia is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenslime1951 View Post
In a brief period from 1973-1975, female models would slather themselves with sauerkraut and Thousand-Island dressing so they would look "Rubenesque." The fad died out when someone pointed out the spelling error.
It took me 3 seconds, but was totally worth the brain delay.
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