What Was the Ideal Body in Ancient Greece?

In ancient Greece, the human body was considered a work of art. The Greeks believed that physical beauty was a reflection of a person’s inner beauty and strength.

As such, they spent a great deal of time sculpting and perfecting the human form. But what exactly was the ideal body in ancient Greece?

To answer this question, we must first look at the culture and values of ancient Greek society. The Greeks valued balance, proportion, and symmetry in all things, including the human body. They believed that a well-proportioned body was not only aesthetically pleasing but also a sign of good health and strength.

The Male Body

For men, the ideal body was muscular and lean. Broad shoulders, narrow hips, and a slim waist were considered desirable features. A well-defined chest and abs were also highly prized.

The Greek god Apollo is often used as an example of the perfect male form. He is depicted with broad shoulders, a muscular chest, and chiseled abs.

The Female Body

The ideal female body in ancient Greece was quite different from what we consider ideal today. Women were expected to have curves and be voluptuous. A full bust, rounded hips, and shapely thighs were considered attractive features.

The goddess Aphrodite is often used as an example of the perfect female form. She is depicted with full breasts, wide hips, and a rounded stomach.


Athletes were highly respected in ancient Greece for their physical prowess and dedication to fitness. They often served as models for the ideal male form.

One famous athlete who exemplified this ideal was Milo of Croton. He was known for his incredible strength and physique which he developed through rigorous training and exercise.


In addition to exercise, diet played an important role in achieving the ideal body in ancient Greece. The Greeks believed in eating a balanced diet of whole foods, including plenty of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins.

They also believed in moderation and avoiding excess. Overeating or indulging in rich foods was considered a sign of weakness and lack of self-control.

  • Conclusion

In summary, the ideal body in ancient Greece was one that was well-proportioned, muscular, and lean for men, and curvy and voluptuous for women. Athletes served as models for this ideal, which was achieved through a combination of rigorous exercise and a balanced diet.

Today, we may have different standards for the ideal body, but the legacy of ancient Greek culture still lives on through our obsession with physical fitness and appearance.