What people consider to be the ideal woman has changed drastically over the years. The perfect body type was much different during the Italian Renaissance than it is today. From tall and slim to petite and curvy – women across the globe come in all shapes and sizes. That silhouette of the “ideal woman” has undergone many changes over the centuries and the physical qualities people embrace today are often at odds with those from previous generations.
Here we are taking at a look back in time, and marvel at the varyingly ridiculous expectations placed on women over the years.
1. Full – figured
Compared to what we think of now in regards to body image, it is crazy to imagine that during the Renaissance women who were full-figured and overweight were considered to be most attractive. From the 1400s to the 16th century, being thin was a symbol of being poor, because you couldn’t afford to buy a food. If you look at paintings from that time period, you will see the ideal woman of that time was much different than today’s standards.
2. Tiny waists
Completely opposite, the women of the Victorian era were focused on having a small waist. They went to extreme measures to look tiny, wearing corsets that would make it difficult for them to breathe or sit down. Some women even experienced health issues and broken ribs while trying to transform themselves into the ideal woman, which meant having a twelve inch waist.
3. Androgynous look
In the 1920s women did not want to show their curves like they are doing today, the flapper dresses they wore during that time helped hide their shape and give their chests a flat look. Some even wrapped cloth around their breasts in order to create a more androgynous appearance. This boyish expression was considered to be the ultimate body type in the 1920s.
4. Influence of Hollywood
In the years between 1930s and 1950s, women wanted to look like movie stars. Unlike the 1920s they wanted to show off their curves like Marilyn Monroe did. Because of this obsession with Hollywood women really began to focus on their bodies and working out to improve their muscle tone so that they can show off their long legs and fit arms.
5. Dangerously thin
Women is the 1960s wanted to be stick thin, because they wanted to look similar to the admired models of that time. This model movement inspired women to be as skinny as they could be. No longer celebrating curves like they did in the 1930s to 1950s. Skinny was now the trend.
6. Aerobic body
Dieting and eating disorders began in the 1960s, and two decades later it was an ongoing issue. In the 1980s, aerobic became a big thing and women wore tight workout clothing that emphasized their bodies. They become obsessed with their appearances and strived for that toned look, without gaining too much muscle. This small figures would squeeze into tight spandex which was very trendy in the 80s, and considered to be very sexy.
7. Skinny is in again
Models like Kate Moss were influencing women and young girls alike in the 1990s. Even men were into withered looking physics. A look that some women accomplished through extreme drug use or by starving themselves.
8. Embracing curves
After decades of women attempting to look thin, they finally began embracing curves again. In the past 10 years, we have seen curvier ladies on our magazine covers and out television screens. However, body image issues are still a very real and present in today’s society. This might explain the surge in popularity of plastic surgery. Thankfully there days we have many positive body image campaigns that are helping teach young girls how to love themselves, no matter what their shape.