Okay let’s be honest: until the 1960s, when breast augmentation surgery became available, women’s breasts were for all intents and purposes pretty similar over the centuries. There are natural fluctuations in size and shape based on genetics and overall health, but for the most part breasts have been relatively consistent across the centuries until the last 50 years. The main reason for so much change in how we perceive beautiful breasts is directly related to culture. Art, movies, magazines, and other cultural outlets are directly related to what society views as a beautiful breast. And this didn’t start recently; this started thousands of years ago, all the way back to Greek statues, and other cultures’ mosaics and frescos.
During the height of both Greek and Roman artwork, sculpture was a leading art form. The male figure was directly studied for motion and form. In fact it wasn’t until around 400 B.C. that we start to see female sculptures in Western civilization with the creation of Aphrodite of Knidos. While no one is quite sure the reason for this, one thing is for certain, during both Greek and Roman civilizations, women probably didn’t model for these sculptures. If the breasts on these sculptures seem clunky on occasion, it’s probably because young boys were often the models for female statues. The artists had to imagine breasts in order to shape them from the marble. Just like any other area of art, some artists were better than others at doing this, and at making their sculptures seem more natural than others. If you go to view this type of artwork, you may also note how much smaller these breasts are than what is considered the norm in current society. During these times, smaller breasts were considered the height of beauty.
The Renaissance brought about a shift in how artists viewed breasts and how they were interpreted in traditional art. While breasts have always been used to nourish children, this became a common visual in Renaissance paintings. Even the Virgin Mary was regularly depicted nursing an infant Jesus by many artists. This image was closely aligned with religious practice, and by many, was seen as the Madonna nourishing the souls of practicing Christians.
The perception of the breast starts to change around the time of Queen Elizabeth I, when androgyny was celebrated. Even smaller breasts became the accepted norm in this part of the world; however, in France, breasts were being celebrated. While Marie Antoinette lived approximately 100 years after the creation of the coupe champagne glass, the story still holds that the glass itself was modeled after her breast.
Other cultures throughout the world had different perceptions on what made a beautiful breast. In many cultures in both Africa and South America, where being bare-breasted was the norm, breasts were never hypersexualized like they became in Western culture. Somewhere along the way, larger breasts became the stylish, more appealing choice. This probably occurred for two different reasons. The first reason may have been a more practical, biological reason that women with larger breasts were better fed, and therefore, were able to be better mothers to infants. The second reason is that the more puritanical practice of covering up fully led to a fascination with breasts as they were kept further and further from society’s gaze.
With the rise of Hollywood, breasts have become even more hypersexualized and large breasts the norm. Marilyn Monroe is the perfect example of a woman who was noted for her wit and intelligence, yet played the “dumb blonde” with large breasts on many occasions. Few female celebrities with large breasts have been able to control their image in the media, but these breasts are what is dominating the media and the perceptions of beauty.
In the 1960s, the first silicone breast augmentation was successfully completed and this procedure has shown no sign of slowing down in popularity. Whether it’s due to media perception or because women truly want to feel great about their breasts, over 300,000 breast augmentations are performed in the United States every year. If you’re looking to create your own version of the perfect breast, make sure you work with an experienced professional. Weiler Plastic Surgery is the best choice in the Baton Rouge area for a skilled surgeon who strives for natural-looking results. You deserve the body of your dreams; let Weiler Plastic Surgery help you achieve it. Schedule your consultation today!