Developing the Waist

“‘The waist is one of the distinguishing human features, such as speech, making tools and a sense of humor.'” (Quoting evolutionary psychologist Devendra Singh, p. 29)

“(The Balzi Rossi figurine) has a waist. Since no other animal in nature has a waist, one could say that it distinguishes humans from animals…. Formally speaking, the waist lends to the shape of the human body its dynamic asymmetry. It permits the body to be seen not as a single block but as a balanced arrangement of different blocks–the flat broad plain of the chest or the globes of breasts and the triangle between them are in a certain relation of symmetry or asymmetry with the oval of the stomach or the sturdy rectangle of a muscular torso…. The vital, mobile beauty of Greek statues, compared to Egyptian ones, depends in part on the way the Greek pose breaks the straight-on symmetry of the body, and turns it into a moving architecture of thrusts and counter thrusts, concavities and convexities, which multiply the curves that the waist initiates.” (p. 23)

Klein, Richard. “Fat Beauty.” Bodies out of Bounds: Fatness and Transgression. Ed. Jana Evans Braziel and Kathleen LeBesco. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2001. Print.


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