In my high school library, we had a picture of one of the early Burlington High School graduating classes (1890's). All the girls in it were quite plain, it stuck in my head as a visual cue for Mencken's quote: "If, after I depart this vale, you ever remember me and have thought to please my ghost, forgive some sinner and wink your eye at some homely girl." Looking through the other graduating classes and historical pictures of people in the US, I figured that our cultural definition of beautiful changed, or we changed. TheStoryOfArt seemed to back that up, given Titian and Raphael's depictions. Given the variance and vagaries of history, I figured that Helen of Troy probably wouldn't turn many heads.
But then I found Antea.
They say that a yellow dress meant that she prostituted herself. It's easy (for me) to see how she'd make for a better courtesan than a doormaid. So now I don't know. Maybe Helen was hot? ;)
FYI, Don't google image search Antea at work. She has a modern day sex model counterpart, which is either cute serendipitous or cute smart (instead start with Parmigianino). Also, I forgot Mencken's name, so I google'd Baltimore Asshole, and well, I'd hate to be that police officer. I mean, you take out your frustrations with another kid (his own?) on someone's else kid, and look what happens. Even worse, the same officer has gotten in trouble again. Go Charm City!