Plus Size Mother Goddesses

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In modern times, archeologists have uncovered a number of small sculptures and ceramic images of women that were made before 25,000 BCE in the Upper Paleolithic Era. These artifacts were produced long before the invention of writing so their purpose cannot be known for sure, but as they bear a resemblance to sculptures and images found in almost all later cultures, they are widely believed to be representations of a Mother Goddess or Earth Mother. One thing is certain: these earliest representations of the iconic female form would be classified as plus size by the modern fashion industry.

One of the earliest depictions of the human body, dating from 29,000 – 25,000 BCE, is known as the Venus of Dolni Vestonice. This figurine, together with a few others from nearby locations, is the oldest known ceramic article in the world. Only 11.1 cm tall, the figure is of voluptuous proportions with large hanging breasts, wide hips, rounded stomach and thick thighs, tapering down to legs that have been cut off above the knees. The face, head and arms are devoid of detail. Somewhat more aesthetically pleasing is the Venus of Willendorf, perhaps the most famous of these ancient figurines. She is a small stone carving, also 11.1 cm tall, and estimated to have been carved 28,000 – 25,000 BCE. Equally voluptuous, but of more balanced and rounded proportions, this tiny woman has a little more detail, especially of her hair, but she is said never to have had feet.

The two Venuses are characteristic of others found over the next 20,000 years, up to the time when written records become available to define the purpose of contemporary images. Frequently, the later female figures are found to represent female goddesses, usually associated with the earth, motherhood or fertility. All over the world, in diverse cultures and religions, mother goddesses have been venerated, and since the human race was disbursed to all continents during the Upper Paleolithic Era (50,000 – 10,000 BCE), it is reasonable to deduce that humankind has been continuing what had begun in earlier times: that the Mother Goddesses have been with us since before the dawn of civilisation. This deduction is reinforced by the fact that the ancient figurines all emphasise the reproductive organs and women’s association with fertility.

Civilised cultures have not always favoured plus size goddesses. India and Anatolia, on the whole, seem to have stayed true to the tradition, but some Egyptian representations show women of much more slender form. The Greeks and Romans mostly modelled adolescent and less voluptuous figures, but the famous Venus de Milo has been called matronly and would probably need a British Standard size 16 dress. The mother goddesses have always been with us and are likely to remain as tokens of respect for our natural heritage. It is fitting to remember their ancient origin and to recognise their presence among us today in the form of those ladies the fashion industry consigns to the category of plus size.

Source by John Powell



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