Sex and art. (Fat women take heart.)

From The Visual Arts: A History. [The words are not my own.]

The little figure of a woman, only four and a half inches high, was found at Willendorf in Austria and is one of the earliest works of art being about 25,000 to 30,000 years old. It's carved out of limestone, and seems originally to have been covered with pigments, of which traces remain.

The exaggerated rotundity of the body has a yielding fleshliness, felt ratherthan seen. The hands resting on the breasts, the arms and the lower legs are no more than sketchily indicated and the woman has no face. Tiny curls of hair cover the entire head. There can be little doubt that she was carved as an image of fertility. Other female figures which are dated slightly later (in millennial terms!) similarly emphasise the breasts, belly and buttocks.

From these figures, there can be little doubt, that the shape most admired in women was one that was soft, rotund, and full, for these shapes were considered the most fertile, and therefore the most sexually appealing.

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