Did being overweight actually used to be the beauty standard at least in Europe?

  • I've seen some people say being "fat" used to be a sign of wealth, therefore it was the beauty standard and everything was flip-flopped. But a while back, I randomly came across an interesting comment thread under a youtube video about Korean beauty standards that addressed this claim. One thing they said is that being overweight was basically seen as vulgar 'cause gluttony/overeating is part of the seven deadly sins. What are your thoughts on this?

  • From the historical books and lessons that I learned from, being overweight or being underweight was really never the beauty standard back in historical Europe. It was more so about having fashion and natural beauty.

    But there were in fact standards about having a body and face that was balanced, meaning a body that was not too plump, skinny, or curvy. Also back in Europe, women wearing corsets was natural, as many wanted to achieve a tiny waistline.


    It is though without a doubt that back then, a women's body was somehow indicative by her moral character.


    It is also important to note that Europe went through many standards of beauty, so what I just stated is not really summarizing the whole past beauty standards that Europe set upon women.

  • Historically many Paintings and Sculptures portray full body Women and Men as subjects. PreModern Cultures found full body figures most attractive. Many Modern Cultures have retained the full body preference.

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  • Being overweight was never a sign of beauty in most cultures. It's just that none of the women depicted in art at the time had flat stomachs and people assume that is overweight. But it's not. They just had a bit of curves but most appear to be a normal weight.


    Being overweight was probably a sign of privilege and wealth as not everyone had the means to eat enough food to be overweight but it doesn't mean that being overweight was considered physically attractive.

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