What Were the Beauty Standards in Ancient Greece?

In ancient Greece, beauty was highly valued and sought after. The Greeks believed that physical appearance was a reflection of one’s inner qualities, such as intelligence and morality. As a result, they placed great importance on maintaining a certain standard of beauty.

Athleticism and Muscularity

One of the most significant beauty standards in ancient Greece was athleticism and muscularity. The Greeks believed that physical strength was indicative of good health and vitality. Men were expected to have well-defined muscles and broad shoulders, while women were expected to have toned bodies with defined curves.

The Ideal Male Body

The ideal male body in ancient Greece was characterized by a well-defined chest, broad shoulders, and muscular arms and legs. Men were expected to participate in athletic competitions such as the Olympics to maintain their physical fitness. They also often participated in military training to hone their strength and agility.

The Ideal Female Body

The ideal female body in ancient Greece was characterized by a slender figure with full hips and breasts. Women were expected to maintain an active lifestyle but not at the same level as men. They participated in activities like dancing, gymnastics, or swimming which allowed them to maintain their gracefulness while building muscle tone.


Another critical beauty standard in ancient Greece was symmetry. Greeks believed that facial symmetry was an indication of good health, intelligence, and moral character. A symmetrical face with clear skin, bright eyes, straight nose, high cheekbones were considered attractive for both men and women.


Hair played a crucial role in achieving facial symmetry for both men and women in ancient Greece. Men often wore their hair short or shaved it entirely while women kept theirs long or pinned up into intricate hairstyles that accentuated their features.


The clothing worn by individuals was also essential in ancient Greek beauty standards. Men wore simple tunics while women wore draped clothing that accentuated their curves. Jewelry and accessories were often used to add a touch of elegance to their outfits.


In conclusion, beauty standards in ancient Greece placed great importance on physical appearance, athleticism, and symmetry. The ideal male body was muscular and athletic, while the ideal female body was toned with defined curves.

Symmetrical facial features were also highly valued. Overall, the Greeks believed that maintaining a certain standard of beauty not only reflected one’s physical appearance but also one’s inner qualities.