This painting was very controversial for its time. The thin woman indicates that she is underdeveloped and more of a girl than a woman. Her accessories, confrontational gaze, and name all indicate that she is a prostitute. Olympia was a name often associated with prostitutes. The fully clothes black woman was also seen as controversial. She is presenting Olympia with flowers assumably from a client, of which is not interested. The black cat with the erect tail at the foot of the bed is also a symbol of prostitution.