I was lucky enough to go to the Louvre last summer. Of course you must see the main attractions: The Mona Lisa, Winged Victory, and the Venus de Milo. They are considered some of the most beautiful works of art of all time. Having seen them, I have to agree.
But something that has recently struck me, as I reminisce, is that here are these famous depictions of women- supposedly the most beautiful of all time, yet they are all imperfect. Granted, the Mona Lisa is perfect in it’s execution (I swear that thing has some sort of black magic in it), the woman herself is not perfect. She has no eyebrows! She is not classically beautiful. But she is renowned the world over. Winged Victory has no head or arms! She is a veteran of war, yet her strength moves us to this day.
Lastly, there is the Venus de Milo. I was struck by how technically sophomoric she was compared to so many other works of art in the museum. The proportions are off; the craftsmanship is not masterful; the marble slabs don’t always blend well. However, there were hoards of people around her.
All three of these women that make up these famous works of art would probably not be considered beautiful in today’s society. They are amputees, masculine, full figured, damaged. Yet we value them so highly. It makes me wonder how the appreciation of our women in classical art and the living, breathing women of today became so discrepant.
When I see women of all sorts today (and even when looking at my own body), I see a story. Every story has beauty in it. Every woman has magic in her like the Mona Lisa. Every woman has strength like Winged Victory. And every woman has imperfections like the Venus de Milo. Let us celebrate our women like the works of art they are.