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Venus of Willendorf vs. The Barbie Doll, Essay Example

Pages: 3

Words: 953

Essay

In the history of humanity, it can be observed that art has inspired the creation of statues and representations that are deficient with regards to realism.  The figures or representations have had the tendency of exaggerating the female form in one dimension or another.  Distinct cultures have demonstrated the bodily components which include elongated necks and pronounced torso areas that other cultural perspectives may not find to be attractive.  In some of the African and Asian tribes, neck rings are applied in order to elongate the neck area.  Plates are applied in some of the cultures in order to cause the lips to become more noticeable.  In other cultures, injections are placed into the lips in order to provide the lips with a fuller and more voluptuous appearance (Egan, 2005).  The perceptions of beauty between the Barbie doll marketed by Mattel and the Venus de Willendorf will be explored.

Impact on the Media

This proposal is directed toward the analysis of the feminine form through the expressions of the Woman of Willendorf and the Barbie doll. Venus is a name that has long been connected with distinct types of art.  The most conventional representations of Venus include the representation of the bodily form of beautiful women.  One of the most well-known representations of Venus in artwork is the Venus of Willendorf which dates back to the Paleolithic era circa 23,000 B.C. E.  The representation of the figure of Venus was found during an archaeological expedition in Austria.  The discovery of the figurine was attributed to Josef Swombathy in 1908.  The designation of Venus was given to the statue in jest.  The statue has an exaggerated abdomen which has been designated as the pear due to its physical characteristics.  The figurine Venus from Willendorf has more recently received the moniker of being the Woman from Willendorf (Baiter, 2013).

The Venus from Willendorf is a comparatively small figurine which has dimensions of being almost 4½ inches in stature.  The figurine was scup5ted from Eolithic stone which is a limestone that has a porous quality.  This is acknowledged as being the earliest discovered sculpture of the female form.  The statue is perceived to have been applied as a symbol of fertility, due to its attribute of having no feet and slender arms.  The other qualities that make the Venus of Willendorf outstanding are the exaggerated abdomen, ample breasts and pronounced genital area.  The statue is perceived to have been a symbol of fertility due to its attribute of not having mobility.  There are no facial features included in the sculpture, however, there is hair which appears to have been included in the sculpture.  The hair is braided which demonstrates the figure as a fertility symbol.  The Venus of Willendorf is one of the unique Paleolithic sculptures to be in existence (Baiter, 2013).

The Barbie doll is a contemporary presentation of beauty.  The Barbie doll was conceived by Ruth Handler and was presented to the public around 1959.  The original Barbie doll was portrayed as slender blond who has delicate features which cause her to be perceived as a supermodel by admirers.  As time has elapsed, the Barbie doll has evolved into representing beautiful women from distinct ethnicities.  Barbie can be any type of fantasy that the consumer requires.  The toys are the deposits of fantasy (Dusheck et al., 1999).  The Barbie doll is a dichotomy to the Venus of Willendorf with her slender dimensions.

Impact on Society

The Venus of Willendorf and the Barbie doll are idealized feminine forms which are not representative of the majority of women.  The meaning of the word beauty is continuously changing.  Style has its cycles and all of the standards that are associated with style are subject to modification.  There have always existed the slight and drastic modifications to the concept of feminine beauty.  As time has progressed the portrayal of feminine beauty has been subject to change.  There are some parameters that appear to be consistent over time.  It is generally perceived that full figured women are preferred as representations of feminine beauty during the temporal periods of subsistence.  The slender more streamlined female figure is preferred as the representation of beauty in the cosmopolitan urban societies (Baiter, 2013).

This distinction in the perception of beauty would explain the depiction of the Venus of Willendorf as a full figured woman who is given to maternal endeavors.  The slim, cosmopolitan figure that is manifested by Barbie is the preferred standard of beauty in our present age (Paglia, 2004).  If Barbie would have been depicted in the Paleolithic Era, approximately 25, 000 years ago in comparison to the Venus of Willendorf, the robust silhouette of the Venue of Willendorf would have been given preference as the beautiful form.  This is attributed that in the Paleolithic societies of 25,000 years ago, a robust and round feminine form would have been perceived as someone who would have had the capacity of bearing numerous children.  The slender form that is presented by the Barbie doll would have more than likely been perceived as someone who had been a victim of famine or drought (Paglia, 2004).

Summary

The figurines of the Venus of Willendorf and the Barbie doll are acknowledged for their representation of beauty with regards to the standards of their time.  The Barbie doll and the Venus of Willendorf are presentations of the idealized women in the context of the era.  The common characteristic of both figurine are that they were both symbols of efficacy in their respective eras.  The female form will always be a subject of art.  There will be depictions of the female form that are in alignment with their times.  These female forms have the capacity of becoming outdated as the perceptions of beauty and style are modified.

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