Alexis comic fragment 103 (4th cent. B.C. Athens):


On prostitutes:

“…They remodel these girls immediately, and their manners and looks remain no longer the same. Suppose one of them is small: cork is sewn into her shoes. Tall? She wears thin slippers and goes around with her head pitched towards her shoulder; that reduces her height. No hips? She puts on a bustle, and the onlookers make comments about her nice bottom. They have false breasts for them like the comic actors’; they set them on straight and pull out their dresses forwards as if with punting holes. Eyebrows too light? They paint them with lamp-black. Too dark? She smears on white lead. Skin too white? She rubs on rouge. If a part of her body is pretty, she shows it bare. Nice teeth? Then she is forced to keep laughing , so present company can see the mouth she’s proud of. If she doesn’t like laughing, she spends the day inside, like the meat at the butcher’s, when goat’s heads are on sale; she keeps a thin slip of myrtle wood propped between her lips, so that in time she will grin, whether she wants to or not.”

I will comment on this in more detail soon, but for now: does the fact this was written almost two and a half thousand years ago at all change your perception on body image?

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About nobodysaknowitall

Classical Studies student, who likes vegetarianism, animals, feminism, and dislikes monetarism and capitalism. For shorter spats of Nobodysaknowitall: Follow @MegannWright
This entry was posted in History, The world we live in. and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Alexis comic fragment 103 (4th cent. B.C. Athens):

  1. Brian Joseph says:

    It is amazing when this was written . If I did not know its source I would have guessed late ninetieth century. It is amazing how little has changed!

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