• Downtown Fredericksburg, VA

Premier Portrait Studio •

Black Lace Boudoir - Boudoir Photography Studio Logo

Beauty Standards Through The Ages

A Focus on History

Beauty standards throughout the ages - all bodies are beautiful

When it comes to beauty, society has a standard that we tend to compare ourselves to. We might look in the mirror and pick ourselves apart with thoughts like “My butt is too small”, “my waist is too big”, “my nose is too prominent”, or other such degrading thoughts. We compare ourselves to Instagram models, celebrities, fashion advertisements, and whatever else is shoved down our throats as the definition of “beauty”. 

But the thing is: the standards of beauty are completely made up. They’re temporary. They’re not real. And we shouldn’t ever feel the need to hold ourselves to them. We are all beautiful, whether society approves or not

Ancient Statues

If you ever find yourself criticizing your looks because you don’t look like XYZ, take a moment to reflect on the temporary nature of beauty standards. Specifically, some of the best examples to think about are the ancient “Goddess” statues found in art. 

These statues (dubbed “Venus” statues by Paul Harult in 1864 for their “sexually charged nature” *), can be found throughout all of history, with one of the oldest being the “Venus of Willendorf” (sometimes simply referred to as “The Goddess”). These statues represented what we believe to be goddesses of either fertility or beauty (or both). Looking at the “Venus of Willendorf” you see that she was carved out to be very curvy, with emphasis on the breasts, stomach, and thighs. Above all, this was the standard of beauty! This is the “divine figure” of women.

Venus of Willendorf - Beauty Standards Throughout Time
Venus of Willendorf – Image from Wikimedia Commons

“ I saw this in my Art History class a few years back and was simply in awe that we have forgotten how different bodies can be. The Goddess is a reminder that beauty comes in all forms and should be valued.”

– Becki H – Beauty Ambassador for Black Lace Boudoir

Renaissance Paintings

We can go to more recent times, such as the Renaissance. In most paintings of women during this era, the women have smaller breasts but have an emphasis on their lower stomachs (what we like to call our ‘pouches’). Some of the most famous paintings and carvings have these ‘pouches’ and they are hailed as the epitome of beauty!

Peter Paul Rubens, Venus, Mars and Cupid, c.1630-1635, oil on canvas – Image from Wikimedia Commons

“As centuries pass, the unique design of a woman and her beauty can never fade. Beauty is carried and embodied by the action of the soul. One who has become or is a goddess holds the utmost purest form of beauty within her. Beauty is a mindset, not simply a figure.”

-Aubrey W. – Beauty Ambassador for Black Lace Boudoir

A simple dig into beauty standards throughout history will show you that all body types have been idolized at some point in some land. In essence, the standard that we see today is as temporary and fleeting as a snowflake. So don’t push yourself to look like what somebody else tells you is the beauty standard. Remember: you are beyond and above that. 

“For me, I feel empowered. I believe we often look at society and judge the outside and the appearance and we are brought up with a certain image that is considered to be “healthy and beautiful “ forgetting that we all can struggle no matter our size. We cannot change our DNA makeup but we can change how we view each other as a society and ourselves. We can focus mentally, and emotionally on our mindset of empowering ourselves and others that we are all beautiful no matter size and most importantly it’s fulfilling a purpose that’s within us to why we are here!”

– Ana N, Beauty Ambassador for Black Lace Boudoir

“Wow…the perception or standards of beauty sure has changed over the centuries! We’ve come a long way from what that statue deems as a goddess. From outward physical appearance to how we feel and carry ourselves mentally (i.e., Queen status). However, this is a stark reminder that beauty is still in the eye of the beholder.  😉

– Kim B, Beauty Ambassador for Black Lace Boudoir

Ready to embrace your beauty? Let’s Chat! Click here to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation!

beauty standards throughout time - all bodies are beautiful


to the blog

This is the place you get to know more about us, and other topics you can relate too. Blogging is where we get to connect with you. Stay with us and sign up!


Get Inspired!