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


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?