The Amazing 100-Year Transformation Of The "Perfect" Body
Published in Jun 2021 / Updated in Oct 2021
The twentieth and the twenty-first century have been dominated by many ideas about the perfect body shape. In many ways, a certain body shape seems to be trending at one time or another.
That is why the difference between the perfect body shape for one period compared to the ideal body shape from another period can leave you totally surprised.
In general, these perceptions about the female body help us understand how attitudes change over time and how beauty standards keep shifting based on what society thinks at every moment in time.
To a large extent, beauty standards had plenty to do with whether a woman could have a personality or not.
After all those years of diets, pills, and celebrity influences, beauty standards are still far from perfect today. Even as we speak, girls and women are still forced to compare themselves to others.
At no point are they taught to love themselves despite what they look like; and that obviously needs to change.
If it's any consolation, at least we are no longer using beauty standards like cigarettes and Wonder Bread to lose weight.
So, we invite you to have a walk with us down memory lane as we explore some of the ridiculous beauty standards women have been made to work with over the years.
Clifford was a stage actress born in Belgium, and she stood out as the most popular model from the "Gibson Girl" illustrations. She had an imposing coiffure figure which typified the Gibson Girl style.
Alice Joyce was a respected actress who was quite popular during the silent film era. She is ranked by film historians as one of the leading models of 1910.
Jean was also nicknamed "Platinum Blonde" and was known for her role as the "Laughing Vamp." She was well known for her personality, but her looks were also considered a beauty standard.
The English-American actress, humanitarian, and businesswoman started her career early in the 1940s. By the 1950s, she was among the most famous stars in Hollywood.
The English model Lesley Lawson, who was a singer and an actress, was also popular by her nickname, Twiggy. She turned into a British cultural icon and was a famous teenage model in London.
Farrah Fawcett was quite popular as she was considered the beauty standard of her time. She started by appearing in commercials and guest roles on TV during the '70s.
The Australian model, actress, television host, and businesswoman appeared on the Sports Illustrated Dress Issue a record five times. This began back in the 1980s, and she later earned the nickname "The Body," which Time used in 1989.
In the 1990s, Kate Moss was one of the most famous names in the modeling industry. She was a supermodel and a famous pin-up who also earned the name "the waif."
Along with other catwalk queens, she managed to make the 'heroin chic' look quite popular. The look consisted of hollow eyes and a skinny look.
In 2000, the pear was a more popular shape, with waistlines having increased by four inches in just two decades. The waspy look was no longer in fashion, and women like Kim Kardashian and Nicki Minaj promoted the notion that bigger is actually better.
While that notion is clearly catching on, Jennifer Lawrence, who has a slim shape and an athletic figure, was considered the ideal body type for 2014.
Therefore, the ideal woman's body is still considered slim. Still, that notion is changing as famous curvy women are helping convince society that there is more than a single perfect body shape.
It is worth mentioning that the fashion industry and the media have a big role in shaping people's perceptions about the perfect body shape. In reality, beauty takes many forms, despite what fashion magazines might have us believe.