The next time I tug mournfully at a too tight waistband or have a 'bleurgghh' moment when looking in the mirror, I am going to lift my head up high, throw back my shoulders and remember that the ideal of female beauty was not always based upon malnourished bodies with their protruding collarbones and hips.
I feel lucky to maintain a reasonably stable level of self esteem. I am neither thin nor overweight, not too small or too tall, not beautiful yet not considered offensive to the eye. My appearance has very little impact on my ability to pay my bills, and my family and friends seem to like me even when I am wearing my fifteen year old tracksuit bottoms. Yet despite this I would still give at least one month's mortgage payment for a pill that would melt away a stone of never-lost baby fat. Oh, to be a size 10 and wear a dress with an actual waistband.
So it was nectar for the soul to see the work of Anna Utopia Giordano and witness so viscerally that skinny does not automatically equate to beautiful.
Consider the ripe, blooming fleshiness of these Old Master's depiction of Venus and then compare this with the version which has been digitally manipulated to conform with the modern idea that skinny is best. No contest. Not only were the original Venuses allowed to carry their voluptuous hips and luscious, plump thighs with pride, but if I'm not mistaken those secret smiles they share can only mean one thing. Sheer satisfaction from the Rennaissance equivalent of a guilt free box of krispy kreme's for breakfast.