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Did hot women exist 2,000 years ago?

by planck
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planck
#1
Jan26-11, 06:07 AM
P: 45
Yes, the title is meant to be titillating to get you to click.

But since you're here, let's discuss because I think this is an interesting sociological question. As of 2010, men will generally find the "36-24-36-swimsuit-fitness model" the paradigmatic magazine beauty.



But how much of that is that because of sociological programming. Do I find these women attractive because I was reared that way?

More importantly, did these type of women exist in the past? Think about makeup, cosmetic lotions, hairstyling, and even modern methods of plastic surgery.

Obviously plastic surgery is extremely modern and drastic. So nothing like that would be accessible to ancient women. But something as simple as shaving legs and underarms. I highly doubt that type of clean shaven look was sported by anyone back then.

And even the modern female body type. If you look at women (or pictures of at least) a mere 50 years ago, they were more voluptuous and fuller figured. The "athletic" body-type is a modern conception. But it's fairly drastic in terms of change.

My basic point is that so much has changed in terms of female image. They say that Cleopatra was gorgeous, but if we went back to that time--how gorgeous was she really?

From an evolutionary standpoint, were men solely interested in someone who appeared fertile? Did any sort of aesthetic beauty come into play when making a choice. And it extends to the BC era too.
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Borek
#2
Jan26-11, 06:58 AM
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Quote Quote by planck View Post
But something as simple as shaving legs and underarms. I highly doubt that type of clean shaven look was sported by anyone back then.
Don't be too sure.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glabrou...her_influences

Wikipedia is not the best source, but I have no time to look for a better source at the moment. I am almost sure I have read a line like "waiting for him with the freshly depilated mons" (at least that how it was translated to Polish) in some ancient poem or comedy. Could be it was Lysistrata, could be it was not. But the idea is not that new.
radou
#3
Jan26-11, 01:25 PM
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I wonder how wet bikini contests looked 2,000 years ago.

thephysicsman
#4
Jan26-11, 07:35 PM
P: 89
Did hot women exist 2,000 years ago?

Quote Quote by planck View Post
Did hot women exist 2,000 years ago?
Obviously some men were of that opinion, otherwise we wouldn't be here to conduct this discussion.
WhoWee
#5
Jan26-11, 08:26 PM
P: 1,123
To be fair - what do you think guys smelled like 2,000 years ago?
planck
#6
Jan27-11, 01:54 AM
P: 45
Quote Quote by Borek View Post
That is interesting.

But, I think we need to know how depilation was viewed back then. Was it seen as something aesthetically pleasing. And how widespread was it, did all the women do it. But more importantly, how much did they want to do it.

Because I was always under the impression that female depilation was a more recent phenomenon.

This wasn't the exact article that I read, but I recall the campaign to shave legs and armpits beginning in the 1920's or 30's:

http://www.straightdope.com/columns/...-and-underarms

To be sure, women had been concerned about the appearance of their hair since time immemorial, but (sensibly) only the stuff you could see. Prior to World War I this meant scalp and, for an unlucky few, facial hair. Around 1915, however, sleeveless dresses became popular, opening up a whole new field of female vulnerability for marketers to exploit.

According to Hope, the underarm campaign began in May, 1915, in Harper's Bazaar, a magazine aimed at the upper crust. The first ad "featured a waist-up photograph of a young woman who appears to be dressed in a slip with a toga-like outfit covering one shoulder. Her arms are arched over her head revealing perfectly clear armpits. The first part of the ad read 'Summer Dress and Modern Dancing combine to make necessary the removal of objectionable hair.
planck
#7
Jan27-11, 02:11 AM
P: 45
Quote Quote by thephysicsman View Post
Obviously some men were of that opinion, otherwise we wouldn't be here to conduct this discussion.
Yes, obviously. But how much of that was primal and just utilitarian? IE, what did men look for in prehistoric women. How did they discern and choose from the pool?

How much of it was just based on evolutionary instincts. For example, I was reading an article about female pubic hair and one reason for its function. Supposedly, it trapped the "scent" of that region--containing it in that area. Pheromone type utility? maybe?


Quote Quote by WhoWee View Post
To be fair - what do you think guys smelled like 2,000 years ago?
Most probably like Acqua Di Gio........and meat.

In all seriousness though, women actually like the male "stench." I remember reading something about that.

It must go back to the pre-homosapien era. Look at this article:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/l...ow/4998335.cms

A naturally present chemical in men's sweat may act as a primitive love potion that increases their attractiveness in women's eyes, says a new study .

The substance is derived from the male sex hormone testosterone.

To reach the conclusion, Tamsin Saxton of the University of St Andrews studied the influence of androstadienone by dabbling a drop of it on the upper lip of 50 women who took part in the evening trial before they "dated" a series of men.

From analyses, researchers found that women of all ages rated the men slightly higher on a scale of attractiveness when given the substance, compared to water or clove oil, but the effect was greatest in younger women aged between 18 and 22, reports The Independent.

Quote Quote by radou View Post
I wonder how wet bikini contests looked 2,000 years ago.
I don't know. Was spring break invented yet?
WhoWee
#8
Jan27-11, 08:30 AM
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Quote Quote by planck View Post
Most probably like Acqua Di Gio........and meat.

In all seriousness though, women actually like the male "stench." I remember reading something about that.

It must go back to the pre-homosapien era. Look at this article:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/l...ow/4998335.cms
Androstadienone aside, both sexes would have been groomed a little differently than we're accustomed to today. Long and greasy hair, dirt, blood, and sweat might have been the norm?
Subductionzon
#9
Jan27-11, 10:47 AM
P: 168
I suppose it would have a lot to do with the class of the people involved. The upper class definitely believed in recreational sex, and were not adverse to bathing, or shaving, in many old cultures. And I seriously doubt that many members here are involved with ladies as can be seen in the OP's picture. If they were they would have better things to do than to post here. "Hotness" is a concept that has existed much longer than people think. Just read an unexpurgated version of the Song of Solomon. And most versions are tamed down a bit, it is not his lovers navel that he was in love with in the original.
WhoWee
#10
Jan27-11, 10:54 AM
P: 1,123
Quote Quote by Subductionzon View Post
And I seriously doubt that many members here are involved with ladies as can be seen in the OP's picture. If they were they would have better things to do than to post here.
Excuse me...how did you arrive at this conclusion?
Borek
#11
Jan27-11, 11:04 AM
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Quote Quote by planck View Post
Because I was always under the impression that female depilation was a more recent phenomenon.

This wasn't the exact article that I read, but I recall the campaign to shave legs and armpits beginning in the 1920's or 30's:
I guess (but that's just a speculation on my part) that it have to be seen in a context of a victorian morality. Just because in 1920 nobody was shaving body hair doesn't mean it wasn't popular 100 years earlier.
Evo
#12
Jan27-11, 12:08 PM
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Quote Quote by Borek View Post
I guess (but that's just a speculation on my part) that it have to be seen in a context of a victorian morality. Just because in 1920 nobody was shaving body hair doesn't mean it wasn't popular 100 years earlier.
If you look at ancient Roman and Greek sculptures and piantings, women did not have pubic hair. If you watch documentaries on tribes in the Amazon, they do not have pubic hair. It is for hygiene. There was one show where there was a female scientist and the tribe women were shocked when they saw she had pubic hair, they couldn't believe it.
flintsmith
#13
Jan27-11, 05:34 PM
P: 5
To get an answer, I would turn the question around. Were there not-hot women? Were there women left out of the gene pool, and why?

I bet the HF (hotness factor) had to be pretty low for a female to avoid offspring in the days before birth control.
stevenb
#14
Jan27-11, 05:54 PM
P: 697
Call me old-fashioned, but this is an ideal women in my eyesight. She looks healthy, strong and beautiful. Hips are wide enough to survive child-bearing and she's just hefty enough to have nutritional reserves and to keep me warm at night. If any man gives her trouble when I'm not around, she'll deliver a good swift mule-kick to the you-know-whats.

And, if one of those beach beauties tried to seduce me, they wouldn't survive her wrath. (Well, that's a bit of a draw-back, but at least she would keep me honest.)
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planck
#15
Jan28-11, 03:00 AM
P: 45
Quote Quote by Evo View Post
If you look at ancient Roman and Greek sculptures and piantings, women did not have pubic hair. If you watch documentaries on tribes in the Amazon, they do not have pubic hair. It is for hygiene. There was one show where there was a female scientist and the tribe women were shocked when they saw she had pubic hair, they couldn't believe it.
Now, that is interesting. I would love to read more about this.


Quote Quote by flintsmith View Post
To get an answer, I would turn the question around. Were there not-hot women? Were there women left out of the gene pool, and why?

I bet the HF (hotness factor) had to be pretty low for a female to avoid offspring in the days before birth control.
It has to be based on fertility alone. I guess whatever women looks healthier compared to the other sickly ones. What choices do you have? The girl with the leprosy, and the one without?


Quote Quote by stevenb View Post
Call me old-fashioned, but this is an ideal women in my eyesight. She looks healthy, strong and beautiful. Hips are wide enough to survive child-bearing and she's just hefty enough to have nutritional reserves and to keep me warm at night. If any man gives her trouble when I'm not around, she'll deliver a good swift mule-kick to the you-know-whats.
Yes, but those sculptures are also romanticized. I remember seeing a show about those chiseled greek adonis statues. The style back then was to make the body image as perfect as possible. The real question is whether or not the women (and men) would actually aspire to look like that too. Did they exercise back then? lift weights? Did they have the luxury of calorie counting?

Actually, food and calories were probably not an issue considering that fatty and sugary foods probably didn't exist. But some form of gluttony may have needed to be confronted by some.
Radrook
#16
Jan28-11, 10:43 AM
P: 334
To an alligator the female alligator is hot. I'm sure the Neanderthals considered their gruff-looking women as hot as we consider ours. Hotness is culturally and temporally variable. It's a totally personal thing.
WhoWee
#17
Jan28-11, 10:47 AM
P: 1,123
Quote Quote by Radrook View Post
To an alligator the female alligator is hot. I'm sure the Neanderthals considered their gruff-looking women as hot as we consider ours. Hotness is culturally and temporally variable. It's a totally personal thing.
http://www.jango.com/music/Stephen+Stills?l=0

"Love the one you're with..."
Alan1000
#18
Feb5-11, 06:42 AM
P: 26
Quote Quote by Radrook View Post
To an alligator the female alligator is hot. I'm sure the Neanderthals considered their gruff-looking women as hot as we consider ours. Hotness is culturally and temporally variable. It's a totally personal thing.
Not so long ago this website featured a photo of a reconstruction of the head of a teenage Neandertal girl. I have seen less attractive-looking examples of Homo Sapiens; and this may help to explain why our genome now holds about 4% Neandertal genes (as reported on this website).

Aristophanes describes (in as much detail as we really want to know) how Greek women in his time used a naked flame to singe body hair back to skin level.


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