The Changes In The Ideal Female Body Standard Through The Years

Published on 12/08/2020
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Everybody can tell you that fashion trends are coming and going. There are times when it doesn’t take even a year for something to fade into obscurity! Pinterest boards can hardly keep up with the fashion industry’s ebb and flow. But clothes are not the only things in terms of popularity that seem to fluctuate. It feels like the female body is passing through trends and fads as well. Magazines have shown us over the years what is considered hot and not. There is often a famous female celebrity in that era who is considered the epitome of beauty. Let’s go back in time to see how, over the course of a century, the ideal body type of women has changed.

How The Ideal Female Body Type Has Changed In The Last 100 Years

How The Ideal Female Body Type Has Changed In The Last 100 Years

The Gibson Girl Of The ’10s

It was too expensive in the past to publish pictures on the pages of magazines. Back then, businesses would recruit illustrators to get their point across. Charles Gibson was a particularly famous illustrator of women’s magazines. The artist has produced the piece you are looking at! He depicted wealthy women wearing tight corsets that gave them a ramrod-straight posture and an hourglass figure.

The Gibson Girl Of The ’10s

The Gibson Girl Of The ’10s

Camille Clifford Was A Gibson Girl In The Flesh

When it comes to the topic of the Gibson Girl, Camille Clifford was considered the real-life version. She took part in a competition aimed at finding someone who looked like a drawing of Charles Gibson. She won in the end! The judges thought that the illustrations looked more like her than any of the other candidates.

Camille Clifford Was A Gibson Girl In The Flesh

Camille Clifford Was A Gibson Girl In The Flesh

The Flapper Of The Roaring ‘20s

The Gibson Girl did not have much in common with the It-girl of the ‘20s. The flapper had short hair and was not corset-wearing. About an hourglass figure or a dramatic updo, there was no longer anything hip. Women finally had the right to vote after the ratification of the 19th Amendment. This came after battling and protesting for this right for almost a century! After this political upheaval, fashion changed.

The Flapper Of The Roaring ‘20s

The Flapper Of The Roaring ‘20s

Margaret Gorman Was A Lean Beauty

Margaret Gorman was the queen of beauty who was crowned in 1921 as Miss America. Her fans believed she had that decade’s ideal body type. As you can see, this was far from the curvy of the previous era’s Gibson Girls. People admired females with lean bodies this time around!

Margaret Gorman Was A Lean Beauty

Margaret Gorman Was A Lean Beauty

The Soft Siren Of The ‘30s

It was an iconic and fun era, but the Roaring Twenties weren’t always around. As the stock market crashed, the boxy flapper dresses dropped off the radar. Women wore more fitted dresses in the ’30s that hugged the body’s curves better. If it had happened a few years earlier, this would have been a faux pas!

The Soft Siren Of The ‘30s

The Soft Siren Of The ‘30s

Dolores Del Rio Was A Hollywood Stunner

In those days, when it came to the ideal body, people looked towards Dolores del Rio. Today’s kids would say she’s their body inspo! As the magazine called the Mexican star the Hollywood actress with the best figure, Photoplay defined her body with terms such as “roundly turned” and “warmly curved.”

Dolores Del Rio Was A Hollywood Stunner

Dolores Del Rio Was A Hollywood Stunner

The Star-Spangled Girl Of The ‘40s

The ’40s brought several alterations. Let us not forget that the decade of the Second World War was here. The worldwide war, including the ideal body shape, influenced just about all. It became attractive to have long limbs and broad shoulders. During this era, the “torpedo” or “bullet” bra was also introduced.

The Star Spangled Girl Of The ‘40s

The Star Spangled Girl Of The ‘40s

Betty Grable Was The Pin-Up Girl Of The Decade

We are certain that Rosie the Riveter is familiar to you! While Betty Grable wasn’t as brawny as the feminist icon, she was just as famous, we daresay. She was the most admired pin-up model in the ’40s! To claim that all the men in the army had a picture of her in their footlockers is hardly a stretch.

Betty Grable Was The Pin Up Girl Of The Decade

Betty Grable Was The Pin Up Girl Of The Decade

The Hourglass Figure Of The ‘50s

Slightly curvaceous women were found sexy in the ’40s. With the emergence of the hourglass form, the ’50s took it a step further. Gone were the days when it was considered that a slim body and broad shoulders were attractive. In reality, magazines also began putting advertisements for weight gainers who claimed to expand their hips!

The Hourglass Figure Of The ‘50s

The Hourglass Figure Of The ‘50s

Marilyn Monroe Had The Ideal Body

We doubt that after seeing this picture, we still need to introduce the lady. In our hearts, there is not a single doubt that you know Marilyn Monroe! After all, she has the beautiful figure of an hourglass. If it is possible to get any better than this, we are not sure. It is not difficult to see why in the ’50s, other women were so envious of her.

Marilyn Monroe Had The Ideal Body

Marilyn Monroe Had The Ideal Body

The Twig Of The ‘60s

This only demonstrates that the female body’s ideal form goes from one end of the continuum to the other. The twig overthrew the hourglass figure after a decade. All of a sudden, curves were not considered trendy anymore. People were all about slender extremities, small waists, and narrow hips this time around!

The Twig Of The ‘60s

The Twig Of The ‘60s

Twiggy Is A Skinny Legend

As always, during the ’60s, a single celebrity continued to become the image of the perfect body form. That would be none other than Lesley “Twiggy” Lawson in that decade. Since she began her modeling career at the tender age of 16 back in 1965, it certainly wasn’t difficult to maintain her girlish figure.

Twiggy Is A Skinny Legend

Twiggy Is A Skinny Legend

The Disco Diva Of The ‘70s

We hope that the pendulum swings in your favor! The general public appreciated curves once more in the ’70s. It was not quite the same as in the ’50s, however. Everyone had to fit into those patterns that were a little more out there, for one thing. Enable us to remind you that the disco era was here!

The Disco Diva Of The ‘70s

The Disco Diva Of The ‘70s

The Stars Of Charlie’s Angels

It is difficult to talk about the women of the ‘70s without mentioning Charlie’s Angels! We got Jaclyn Smith, Farrah Fawcett, and Jake Jackson, from left to right. They were considered among the most famous actresses in those days. Besides, people believed they were the embodiment of sexiness!

The Stars Of Charlie’s Angels

The Stars Of Charlie’s Angels

The Supermodel Of The ‘80s

A new idea called the “supermodel” was introduced to the world during the ’80s. This was a title given to women who are taller than normal and have long legs. Without spying on any of these beautiful girls, it was hard to go through an episode of your favorite MTV show. At that span of time, they took the planet by storm.

The Supermodel Of The ‘80s

The Supermodel Of The ‘80s

Rachel Hunter Is Taller Than Most

Rachel Hunter is taller than most men, just below six feet tall. This was rather clear as she stood beside her ex, Rod Stewart. He was just 5’10” after all! We are sure that if you were alive in the 1980s and 1990s, you wouldn’t have forgotten her. She was in music videos and Sports Illustrated’s cover page!

Rachel Hunter Is Taller Than Most

Rachel Hunter Is Taller Than Most

Another Icon In The Form Of Elle Macpherson

Without bringing up a certain lady, it does not feel right to speak about the supermodels of the ’80s. There is none other than Elle Macpherson we’re talking about! So that you know, it’s still going strong with the Australian model. She was even featured in Sports Illustrated’s 2014 swimsuit edition, as a matter of fact.

Another Icon In The Form Of Elle Macpherson

Another Icon In The Form Of Elle Macpherson

The Waif Of The ‘90s

We are sure that you could not have missed the pattern in the trends. It feels like the next decade will always be a response to the one that came before it. We saw the rise of waifs in the ’90s. This kind of woman was thin and short, with few, if any, curves. Other individuals liked to call it the “heroin chic” look. This was very distinct from what was popular in the eighties

The Waif Of The ‘90s

The Waif Of The ‘90s

Winona Ryder Is Talented And Gorgeous

If you were searching for a woman who would fit that description, look no further! The bill fits Winona Ryder down to a tee. It was evident that this helped her career to some degree. Of course, it goes without saying that at the same time, she is really a talented actress in her own right.

Winona Ryder Is Talented And Gorgeous

Winona Ryder Is Talented And Gorgeous

The Buff Beauty Of The 2000s

We had to deal with the problem of Y2K at the turn of the millennium. Aside from this, we also bid farewell to the short and skinny girls. Again, on the front pages of magazines, we saw taller and more athletic women! There was less emphasis on curves than in the fifties or eighties, but more so than in the nineties.

The Buff Beauty Of The 2000s

The Buff Beauty Of The 2000s

Gisele Bundchen Is One Of The Most Beautiful Women Alive

A Brazilian supermodel called Gisele Bundchen took the world by storm in the early ’00s! Rolling Stone did not call her “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World” for no reason. She is killing it by modeling for big clothing companies while she’s no longer in her prime. On top of that, she is still regularly featured in articles about the “Most Beautiful Women in the World” and “Most Influential People in Fashion.”

Gisele Bundchen Is One Of The Most Beautiful Women Alive

Gisele Bundchen Is One Of The Most Beautiful Women Alive

The Booty Babe Of The 2010s

As we said, after enough time, every trend seems to go back into fashion. When it comes to the hourglass figure, this is also true. Thanks to the likes of Queen B, people are fans of the “bootylicious” look. Curves have returned, although wide hips and big bums have a greater emphasis!

The Booty Babe Of The 2010s

The Booty Babe Of The 2010s

Kim Kardashian Shows Off Her Assets

Unless you were living under a rock, we’re sure that you have heard of the name Kim Kardashian. She is probably most famous for her “assets,” apart from her reality TV show and husband. There is even a specific photo that features a bottle of champagne that really drives home the point.

Kim Kardashian Shows Off Her Assets

Kim Kardashian Shows Off Her Assets

We Did Not Forget About Jennifer Lopez

Even though she is no longer as famous as Kim K, we certainly have not forgotten about Jennifer Lopez! There’s no way it would be possible. Adding J.Lo to the list just feels right. Lo to list. She even released a hit called “Booty,” after If .you ask us, she was made to appear on lists such as this one. Throughout the world, beauty ideals are different. Every country has a different ideal. Wait until you see Argentina’s…

We Did Not Forget About Jennifer Lopez

We Did Not Forget About Jennifer Lopez

U.S.A

Perceptions and desires of different body types are different depending on the country. Individuals admire different characteristics in different places of the world and want to look a specific way compared to many others. From the above, with blue eyes and blonde hair, the idea of beauty in America is tall, curvy. Light brown eyes are also adored, however. America sets the tone for Westernized culture in many ways, and celebrities can be seen in all shapes and sizes, so it is interesting to see this typical ideal.

U.S.A

U.S.A

China

In terms of women, China has always had its own particular look and its ideal of beauty. Their ideals were somewhat different from the diaspora’s majority. Many women aspire to be as skinny as possible in China. Some of the main aspirations women have are being skinny and very pale skin. Another aspect is nose shape and big eyes. Women aim to make their skin paler when it comes to makeup, and they also aim for tiny waists.

China

China

Egypt

Diversity can be seen in the Middle East, as many individuals see beauty differently in many different countries. For example, Egypt’s view of beauty in women is curvy and has a larger upper body. In Egyptian culture, it is believed that these women are generally found more appealing. The overall culture, which is distinct from more western countries, is very conservative and hidden. With such a body type, Cleopatra was too visionary.

Egypt

Egypt

Switzerland

The most desirable woman’s swiss perception is described as slim, rather tall, and brown hair is preferred over blonde. Fair eyes are considered the most appealing type of eyesight. On the contrary, a Swiss woman’s stereotypical ideal is blond with blue eyes, which is why it is so fascinating. For these norms to be created, something has to occur in each location, but the next descriptions are really something else.

Switzerland

Switzerland

Bulgaria

Bulgarian beauty standards or the typical Bulgarian women figure is a small and thin waist, a large bust, and wide hips. However, these women are usually preferred to be small-boned and have long hands and fingers. Women are usually thin with dark-colored hair. They usually have very fresh and moisture-filled skin, which allows them to look glowy- this is due to the weather in Bulgaria.

Bulgaria

Bulgaria

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom has considered that a little bit of shape and curvature and small to medium-sized upper body parts are well-desired. For a woman, the ideal height is just under 6 feet. F ft 7 is a more precise estimate of what the ideal is. People have different opinions and preferences in every country, which is most often seen as the ideal of desired beauty and type of body. In the UK, women are typically imagined with defined cheeks and collarbones.

United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Philippines

The Philippines’ beauty ideal includes women with long and dark hair, an angular face and jaw, and small foreheads. Also, women are petite but very busty. The standard of beauty also revolves a great deal around skin color and being pale. It is believed that women often scrub a lot and use products that make their skin lighter. In many Asian countries, this is a major beauty standard.

Philippines

Philippines

France

The French embody the supermodel look. After all, the two are majorly aligned. French like particularly skinny and tall women. They sum up that these women can even have a tom-boy look or embody the girl next door,  but they are generally tall and petite in all aspects. French women are usually natural and concentrate on accentuating what they have; this means plastic surgery and fake aspects are not often seen or preferred.

France

France

Bangladesh

Brown eyes, absolutely beautiful, and flawless skin that shines are included in the Bangladesh beauty ideal. They’re known for their beautiful and glowing eyes. Tall, dark hair is often seen regularly. Thick hair, a sharp nose, and wider eyes are also desirable expressions. The body’s choice is more of a curvy figure, but the focus is on facial features and hair, which we haven’t seen too much in other countries.

Bangladesh

Bangladesh

Chile

Chile’s fashion trends and beauty standards date back to a more natural period when people lived off the land and engaged in agriculture. In women with thinner eyebrows, women who wear little or no makeup, Chilean people thus see the ideal of beauty. The goal, however, is also to be white, which in Chile is uncommon. Many women color their hair blonde, and it is commonly used in the nation in commercials.

Chile

Chile

Italy

In Italy, it can be seen that the ideal and standard of beauty is very close to that of France in the sense that tall and slim are the traditional body structure. Italian women also have thin eyebrows and smooth eyes, and makeup is generally preferred on the lips and eyelids with a tad of color. It is also a very soft look and looks good for one to touch as slim as desired.

Italy

Italy

Nigeria

Lighter skin is seen in Nigeria as an association between wealth and the higher class. As many want to be associated with a higher class, skin lightening products are commonly sought out. However, the choice in terms of form is heavier and curvy women due to the concept of being slim, suggesting illness or poor health. Therefore, in Nigeria, the ideal is to be curvy, dense, and somewhat larger as a sign of good health.

Nigeria

Nigeria

Romania

Romanian women face heavy pressure to be skinny, making it a part of the community to smoke and eat. Besides, in the sense that plastic surgery is very much practiced and very available, Western ways are very much influenced. It is not unusual for women to see an instructor in heels, no matter their occupation, to dress up. However, there is a fine border between being conservative and revealing-women are condemned for demonstrating too much. Long hair, nails that have been preserved, and a body shape built on the bust and trim.

Romania

Romania

Serbia

In Serbia, the facial beauty ideal promotes big, blue eyes and big lips too. Body-wise, however, Serbian women should preferably be long-legged, slender with a larger than average bust. The ideal is also to be well maintained-to get one’s hair and nails polished. Serbian women are responsible for many of the world’s models, and they are wonderful.

Serbia

Serbia

South Africa

Concerning body form and values of beauty, South Africa embodies many different ideals. With its many cultures, many preferences exist. However, one of the main desires is to have a tiny waist, wide hips, and a bigger bottom. South Africa, rich in its history, often encourages a need for lighter skin among black people, but a need to be more tanned among white people. Fair eyes are commonly desired concerning eye color.

South Africa

South Africa

Ukraine

In Ukraine, as much as we think blonde hair and blue eyes are actually the opposite, dark hair is seen as attractive, and very defined cheekbones are seen. The beauty model values slender and pale women, but chubby women were actually admired and valued as the ideal until the 20th century. They prefer a natural look and do not want women to look like models. Ukraine does not value a false look or a synthetic look.

Ukraine

Ukraine

Peru

Peru, just as Chile values its indigenous people’s beauty, the Western vision of beauty is what is admired and synonymous with riches, but this is not what their ideal is. The standard of beauty values a western look with blonde hair and blue eyes of tall, skinny women. Peru experiences a host of cultures and diverse roots. To prevent the formation of darkening melanin, they fear the notion that their skin may darken, and many of those who work outdoors cover up from head to toe.

Peru

Peru

Netherlands

In the modeling industry, Dutch women are always desired, are tall, slender, and have elongated features. Dutch women always look very natural, but they are among the tallest in the world on average. Blonde is very much wanted, but more a commonality, not necessarily a major preference.

Netherlands

Netherlands

Argentina

In Argentina, a curvy figure is admired- slim waists and wide hips. However, Argentinian women often wear accentuating makeup with pops of color and drastic lashes. Some of the facial preferences include normal and transparent skin but very attention-drawing lips. Other common discoveries are big eyes and tight-fitting clothing.

Argentia

Argentia

Kenya

Tall foreheads, elongated necks, skinny bodies, and dark skin are just some admirations in Kenya. It is also found that bright colors like to be worn not only in clothes but also in makeup. Short hair is another characteristic seen among Kenyans and culture in Kenya.

Kenya

Kenya

What Comes After This

If there is something that we can take away from this, it is the fact that there really is no such thing as perfection. When it comes to stuff like body values, this is even more real! People generate these unreasonable expectations for something that most people can’t influence. Ultimately, looking in the mirror is the only thing to do. If what you see makes you happy, then that is all that matters!

What Comes After This

What Comes After This

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