You’ve probably come across magazine covers with statements like “10 ways to get curves like Kim Kardashian” or “Get a body like Beyonce in 2 weeks”. Most women spend hours and hours following the tricks these magazines have to offer. They don’t understand that the media’s concept of these idealistic body types keeps changing rapidly. The qualities embraced today might not be as popular a week later. Like it’s said on Project Runway, “In fashion, one day you’re in, and the next day you’re out.” To make things more clear, scroll ahead and take a look at how the standards of perfect body image have evolved through decades.
The illustrations of Charles Dana Gibson inspired the “Gibson Girl” look. Women during this era were fragile as well as voluptuous and introduced the “S-curve torso shape”. Their tall height and slender lines expressed respectability and elegance. On the other hand, the Gibson girl look featured a full bust and large hips to bring out the seductress in them. The ideal women of the 1910s also had a slender neck with a waterfall of curls falling onto it.
Silent film stars Olive Thomas and Alice Joyce introduced and defined the flapper look in the 1920s. This new standard of beauty was all about liberation. Women abandoned corsets and shifted to clothes that didn’t restrict movement. They were naturally skinny and adopted a slender, “boyish” physique. The basic idea was to break away from the Victorian image of womanhood. Today, fashionistas widely consider that the Flappers of the 1920s inspired the look of the new woman.
The curves came back in the 30s. The ideal women of this era had a full but small bust and gently rounded hips. However, these curves weren’t paired with a bee-like waistline as seen in the early 1900s. This look was an amalgamation of the S curve from the 1910s and the “boyish form” from the 20s. Along with the curves, women were supposed to have a feminine touch, which gave them an overall romantic look. The ideal woman also had a “12-inch neck, 19.5-inch thighs, and 6-inch wrists,” according to Life magazine from the 30s. Pretty precise standard of beauty they had back then.