Gender Roles: Then and Now Essay

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Lorne Smith Dave Cooper Art History I October 25, 2010 Gender Roles – Then and Now Even though gender roles have expanded for both sexes over the last 2700 years, the main presentation of men and women appears to remain unchanged, regardless of the media used. Whether used for religion, aesthetics, entertainment, awe, or advertisements, the ideal man continues to be presented as strong, virile, athletic, powerful, and certain amount of confident presence. The ideal woman continues to convey beauty, sensuality, and either lust or authority and respect. The Discobolus is a Roman reproduction of an original Greek Bronze statue that was lost to history. The detail is very sharp and recognizes various tones in the musculature. Some might say that the statue is posed and does not quite represent an actual discus thrower in motion, since the posed body does not show properly strained muscles in the arms and the movement seems unnatural to a thrower. It does, however, represent an ideal of a strong athletic man, who is quite lean, and has the look of a warrior as well as an olympian. This sculpture very much supports the role that men are warriors, powerful, athletic, and masculine. The photo of this runner reflects many of the same ideals held in Ancient Greece. This man is an olympian athlete; he is well muscled, lean, and in today's society might be considered sexually appealing as well. This picture was used on the cover of a sport's magazine, obviously to catch the attention of the viewer. We might not view athletes as the epitome of all there is to be in a man, but this image still suggests that men be strong, masculine, and ready to succeed. The Capetoline Venus is another Roman copy of an original Greek sculpture of Aphrodite that was lost to history. Generally speaking, even though men were sculpted in the nude, only nymphs and
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