Last night, history was made. The Australian Open reign of King Roger came to its inevitable but untimely end, with Stefanos The Great – Greece’s 20-year-old, modern-day Prince – dethroning the current King of tennis. A changing of the guard, the humble Greek kid from Athens upstaged the Swiss tennis legend, sending the world, and namely the Greeks, into a frenzy. A sea of blue and white, raucous chants and Zorba kicks filled Melbourne, as the Greek diaspora charged their Ouzo in a collective Yamas to their new star, Stefanos Tsitsipas.
So in the name of Tsitsipas – and with that zealous Greek spirit, we celebrate the most glamorous women of Greece. From the godly women of Antiquity, to the Greek Goddess’ of the modern era, Greek beauty can be defined by its sensuality and strength. Be it the raven curls and dramatic arches of Maria Callas and Irene Papas, or the blonde bouffants and feline flicks of Tina Onassis Niarchos and Aliki Vougiouklaki – Greek beauty is vast and varying but there is one striking constant: innate boldness. Let it be known, Greek women are typically fiery in nature, and this heat translates to their brand of beauty; bold, beguiling and beautiful.
Here, a celebration of the most iconic Greek Goddesses of all time. Opa.
Let’s start from the beginning – truly. In Ancient Greece, Aphrodite – the Goddess of love, beauty, pleasure and procreation – lived up to her title, deemed the most beautiful and desired of all the Goddesses. She was also typically depicted nude, representing the ideal female form of the time; a perfect maiden of symmetrical proportions and forever an object of desire.
You might be wondering why the Queen of Egypt is on this list, but here is a fun fact: Cleopatra was Greek (according to most evidence). Despite ruling the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, she was not ethnically Egyptian, rather, her family lineage traces back to Greece. “A woman of surpassing beauty,” she remains one of the most enduring beauty muses of all time.
One of the most iconic and influential opera singers, Maria Callas’s dramatic beauty was well-documented. Sweeping architectural eyeliner, frosty eyeshadows and red lipstick played out with theatre on her bold features, while hair danced between soft up ‘dos and sculptural beehives.
A modern day Greek Goddess, the Greek-American actress firmly etched herself into beauty history with “The Rachel” – that perfectly layered ’90s shag which spawned a decade-long obsession with textured locks and cemented itself as one of the most iconic hair moments of all time.
One of the most enduring images of Melina Mercouri is of the actress standing in front of an Olympic Airways plane, wind in her hair, oversized sunglasses on, in a chic high-waisted Bermuda short and stylish neck scarf, waving glamorously, you know, as you do. This was just one moment in Mercouri’s mighty (and very glamorous) career, with the award-winning Greek actress forever making bold beauty and fashion statements.
The epitome of a classic beauty, the iconic Greek actress was every bit the screen siren, forever playing strong heroines and assuming the eponymous roles in Sophocles’ Greek tragedies, Antigone and Electra. Her beauty, however, was no Greek tragedy: raven curls, high arches and pillowy lips made Papas a true beauty icon.
athina “Tina” Onassis Niarchos
The glamorous first wife of Aristotle Onassis – the most influential and wealthy shipping tycoon of his time – and second wife of Stavros Niarchos – rival to Onassis and fellow billionaire shipping magnet – Tina perfected maritime chic. She ran a tight ship when it came to her beauty look: an impeccable blow-out, perfect winged line and stylish headscarf, she was forever polished and elegant. A look that was shipshape, indeed.
OK, she may not have been Greek by birth, but she was every bit the honourary Greek famously marrying Aristotle Onassis in a big, fat, very stylish, Greek wedding in Skorpios (the Onassis-owned Greek island). A true beauty icon, hers is a beauty look of legendary status.
That sleek jet-black bob, chunky winged line and thick-rimmed glasses made Mouskouri not only one of the most famous singers – but one of the most recognisable faces to come out of Greece.
Like a Greek Brigitte Bardot, actress Vougiouklaki – with her doll-like visage and big blonde bouffant – was a true bombshell. With all the hallmarks of 60s beauty – winged lids, spider lashes and that blonde bedhead – Vougiouklaki will forever be our beauty muse.
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