‘Alpha Beauties’ Art Series Retouches Classic Paintings To Make Them Fit Modern Beauty Standards

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Will we ever get tired of looking at classic paintings of beautiful women Photoshopped to look fashion model thin? I don’t think so! In a similar vein to Anna Utopia Giordano‘s nifty series of photoshopped paintings, artist Nazareno Crea has produced a series called “Alpha Beauties” for which he retouched the subjects of the great paintings of yore to fit our modern standards of beauty: high cheekbones, big eyes, narrow hips, and skinny, skinny, skinny. Looking through them, I find the effect to be downright uncanny, so I’m judging his work to be effective. I realize it’s not a new practice to point out how arbitrary our cultural standards of beauty are; feminist artists have been doing it since the 1970s. But as those standards continue to hammer us every day, it’s still nice to have a reminder once in a while. Look through these side-by-side comparisons of his images with the original paintings and see if you don’t agree; there are lots more to be found on Crea’s website.

(Via Kottke)

Images: Nazareno Crea

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    • Lo

      Most of the originals conformed to a single standard of beauty, just an older one. (The obsession with youth is still there, and probably always will be). I’d like to see it mixed up a little — maybe the same few classical paintings redone in a variety of body shapes, ethnicities and ages.

      • jamiepeck

        True! I just think this series hammers home the point that beauty standards are all equally arbitrary and change from culture to culture.

    • fatima kamara

      Slide 6 is the Ballerina Carlotta Chabert painted as Venus, Standing Nude in a Garden with Doves by Francesco Hayez

    • Margaux

      I love this post. It truly highlights how different modern beauty standards are today. I had a snarky friend who told me that Venus looked “too fat” in Titian’s Venus of Urbino. It just goes to show that “skinny” is how society now views beauty.

    • jai

      more skinny, and yet still the same sized boobs…

    • http://twitter.com/KathrynDyan Katy Hearne

      Besides the Mona Lisa, you can tell that beauty was very focused on pale & “fair”. I thought it would have been interesting if the artist would of given one of them like.. a bitchin’ tan. I think this is a super interesting collection

      • Hannah

        True. As for Mona Lisa, it was revolutionary because it was a more “honest” portrait of a woman. He wasn’t trying to create some beauty, which explains why it’s not as pale and fair as the others.

    • aaron

      This is a lame attempt at commenting on today’s beauty standards.
      The first image looks better because it’s a masterpiece painted by a genius compared to a warped photoshop retouch. Di Vinci’s version would look better no matter what the woman’s body type.

    • tee

      None of these women look better “skinny”. The Mona Lisa looks like an alien.

    • MR

      What horseshit.

    • disgusted

      They were all made skinnier, but their boobs either were left the same size or made bigger. Disgusting.

      • Sandy

        isnt that pretty much how the standard is? Big boobs, small waist?