See How Much the “Perfect” Female Body Has Changed in 100 Years (It’s Crazy!)

See How Much the “Perfect” Female Body Has Changed in 100 Years (It’s Crazy!)

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There’s a reason magazine covers include lines like “5 Moves for Michelle Obama Arms” or “The Secret for a Booty Like Beyoncé.” But if you’ve ever found yourself wishing for this actress’s waist or that singer’s legs, remember this: The media’s concept of the ideal woman’s body isn’t static. Whoever People magazine deems “most beautiful” this year is just a representation of what has bubbled up in the cauldron of pop culture. That silhouette of the “ideal woman” has been put through a series of fun house mirrors (fashion, movies, pop music, politics). It also changes year over year, so the physical qualities we embrace today are often at odds with those from previous generations.To prove our point, we’re taking a closer look at body ideals over the last 100 years—which shows that, as they say on Project Runway, “In fashion, one day you’re in, and the next day you’re out.”

Meet the “it girl” of the era: the Gibson Girl. Illustrator Charles Gibson was to the early 1900s what trend-setting fashion photographers are today. His dream girl, broadcast on the pages of LIFE magazine, Collier’s, and Harper’s, quickly became the Beyoncé of her era. Women raced to copy the signature look: A showstopping feminine body like a looping figure-8, thanks to a super-cinched corset. (Don’t try this at home!) Linda M. Scott writes in Fresh Lipstick: Redressing Fashion and Feminism, “The Gibson Girl was not dainty… she was dark, regal in bearing, [and] quite tall.”

But Gibson’s model and O.G.G. (original Gibson Girl) Camille Clifford was critical of the ideal. She sang in her vaudeville show, “Wear a blank expression/and a monumental curl/And walk with a bend in your back/Then they will call you a Gibson Girl.”

Say bye-bye to monumental curves, statuesque height, fussy updos, and all that jazz—and hello to the flapper. Unlike the frozen beauty of the decade before, the flapper is constantly in motion. The exaggerated curves of Gibson are gone and replaced with small bust and hips.

In fashion, the waistline moves several inches below the navel, making narrow hips a necessity. But don’t be fooled, the flapper doesn’t lack sex appeal; the focus has simply shifted downward to the legs, where a shorter knee-length hemline could expose the flash of a garter while doing a “shimmy.” Margaret Gorman, crowned as the first Miss America in 1921, was the era’s ideal. Her 5-foot-1, 108-pound frame was a full 180 from the Gibson era.

Following the stock market crash, spirits dip back down and so do hemlines. Dresses are now draped on the bias. Translation? A less boxy, more fitted silhouette. The natural waist (around the belly button) comes back and there’s a hint of shoulder too. And the flat-chested look so popular in the 1920s gives way to a small bustline, likely a direct result of the new bra-cup sizing invented in this era. The media embraces a slightly more curvaceous body, making this era a stepping-stone from the streamlined, petite look of the 1920s toward the curvier 1940s. Photoplay, the People magazine of its day, declares actress Dolores del Rio to have the “best figure in Hollywood.” The article applauds her “warmly curved” and “roundly turned” figure.

Atten-SHUN! There’s no farewell to arms… but there is a farewell to the softer look of the 30s. Thanks to World War II, military shoulders (broad, boxy, and aggressive) become the look du jour. Angularity is the order of the day. Bras take on a pointed look too, with names like “bullet” and “torpedo.” All that translates into the look of the moment: a long-limbed, taller, and squarer silhouette. Don’t be fooled by Rosie the Riveter, the ideal body type still doesn’t include flexing biceps. But it does become taller, and more commanding, possibly echoing women’s expanding role in the workforce while men are on the battlefield.

Welcome to the era of the hourglass. In the 1950s, the ideal body type reaches Jessica Rabbit proportions. After the angularity of the war era, a soft voluptuousness was prized above all else.  Ads of the time even advised “skinny” women to take weight-gain supplements like Wate-On to fill out their curves. Playboy magazine and Barbie were both created in this decade, echoing a tiny-waisted, large-chested ideal. Fashions also showcased this body type with the rounded shapes of sweetheart necklines and circle skirts.

The swinging 60s  brings the pendulum back in the other direction. Thin is in. And Jessica-Rabbit proportions are out. The look is now fresh-faced, girlish, and androgynously trim. Models like Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton (aka “The Shrimp”) represented a new ideal: doll-faced, super slender, and petite. The clothing supports this look: shrunken shift dresses remove the cinched waistline, and fashion demands of a smaller bust and slim hips. (Sound familiar? It’s the same dramatic swing we saw from Gibson girl to flapper.)

More and more women are going girdle-free and embracing a less constricting wardrobe. The trade-off? Now that slim, flat-stomached look must be achieved through diet. Right on cue: Enter Weight Watchers, founded in 1963.

Disco! Jumpsuits! Bellbottoms! This decade was a raging party. But the party girl of the day was still pressured to maintain a slim-hipped, flat-stomached body in order to rock these fashions at the discotheque. Synthetic fabrics like polyester and spandex are embraced, but they’re also far more revealing and less forgiving compared to fabrics of the past. The overall look remains lean, especially in the torso, but curves start to come back.

Like the 1930s, this decade is a step away from the petite look of the 1960s. And following the black pride and “black is beautiful” movements of the 1960s, Beverly Johnson becomes the first black woman to grace the cover of Vogue, while Darnella Thomas stars in a groundbreaking “Charlie” fragrance ad.

Amazonian supermodels reign supreme. These tall, leggy women come to represent the new feminine ideal. Women like Elle MacPherson, Naomi Campbell, and Linda Evangelista lead the stampede off the runway and into the heart of pop culture, dominating the media and music videos of this decade.The 1980s also ushers in an era of fitness, thanks to a pioneering Jane Fonda. Aerobics and jogging take off, and for the first time, muscles are acceptable and desirable on women. It’s both empowering and discouraging—one more beauty standard to add to a lengthening list.

Honey, we shrunk the supermodel. Kate Moss ushers in the era of the waif. Naysayers also dub it “heroin chic” for the gaunt look associated with Seattle’s grunge music scene. At 5’7” Moss is undeniably petite for a model and thin, even by industry standards. It’s a firmly unathletic look and a reaction to the Amazonian, uber-fit woman of the 80s.

Slouchy jeans, oversized fraying sweaters, and even unisex fragrances (CK One, we’re calling you out) all support the petite and androgynous waif look. Hollywood also embraces the look. A-list 90s actress Winona Ryder is so petite, costar Ben Stiller exclaims, “She’s like a little figurine for the coffee table!

Supermodel Giselle Bundchen brings sexy back, according to Vogue. She’s credited with ending the era of “heroin chic.” Gone is the pale, gaunt, glass-eyed look of the 90s. Now we enter an era of visible abs and airbrushed tans. Bundchen is crowned “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World” by Rolling Stone magazine and dominates the runway, print ads, Victoria Secret’s lingerie show, and the red carpet on Leonardo DiCaprio’s arm. Hollywood actresses follow her lead hiring a small army of personal trainers and layering on a couple coats of spray tan during awards season.

Two words: booty bonanza. That’s this decade’s contribution to the shifting landscape of women’s body image. Twenty years after Sir Mix-a-Lot sang “you can do side-bends or sit-ups, but please don’t lose that butt,” it seems the media is finally carrying the banner. (Now that The New York Times is reporting it, we can officially call it: “Bootylicious” bodies have gone mainstream.) Nicki Minaj and J.Lo release their tributes to the almighty buttock: Anaconda and Booty, respectively. In Anaconda, Minaj holds a workout session while backup dancers wearing shorts that read “Bunz” do squats to the beat. Subtlety has left the building. But is it empowering? Or exhausting?

The Takeaway

Body ideals, like everything else in pop culture, are a trend. As Tina Fey wrote in Bossypants,Now every girl is expected to have Caucasian blue eyes, full Spanish lips, a classic button nose, hairless Asian skin with a California tan, a Jamaican dance hall ass, long Swedish legs, small Japanese feet, the abs of a lesbian gym owner, the hips of a nine-year-old boy, the arms of Michelle Obama, and doll tits.” Rather than chase that preposterous laundry list of attributes, embrace what your momma gave you! And remember: The media’s idea of beauty is subjective and changes, but confidence is always in style.

http://greatist.com/grow/100-years-womens-body-image?fb_action_ids=779086185478359&fb_action_types=og.shares

#PerfectFemaleBody  #Nickiminaj  #JLo  #Bootylicious  #GiselleBundchen  #VictoriaSecrets  #KateMoss  #CKOne #SuperModels  #Disco  #BeverlyJohnson  #BellBottoms  #Twiggy  #WeightWatchers  #JessicaRabbit #ItGirl  #GibsonGirl  #RollingStone  #PeopleMagazine  #Playboy  #Barbie

About Robert Chaen

Global CEO-Founder of ChangeU and Movsha Movers & Shakers, Hero-CEO Whisperer, Writer, The #1 Alpha Change Expert, Father of Asian FireWalking Robert Chaen is an International Keynote Speaker, writer, researcher, and corp games designer. He is famously known to be the “Hero-CEO Whisperer”, 1-on1 coaching with many CEOs and Celebrities for corporate strategies, staff & office political issues, personal branding, and even public figure OSHA safety drilling called Drager Defense. He has transformed CEOs and managers in Coca-Cola China, TVB Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Airport Services, VADS, TM, Public Bank, Auditor General's Office Maldives, etc. He is the prolific creator and online Author of innovative management tools such as DragonCEO, Diamond Leader, Papillon Personal Effectiveness, OSHA Drager Defense, KPI Bank, etc. He is also the Founder of Movsha, an international networking with monthly mingles with MOVers & SHAkers, Angels, Entrepreneurs, CEOs, Celebrities, HR-PR-CSR, HODs, and the Most Influential IDEA people. ​Chaen is widely considered as one of the top International Platform Keynote Speakers for Resorts World Genting Senior Management Conference (Manila), 7-Eleven HK, Samsung, Coca-Cola China Mini-MBA @Tsing Hua University, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Jockey Club, The Story Conference where he interviewed Datuk Kamarudin (Chairman of AirAsia) and Siti Nurhaliza. He has been widely featured in TVB, AWSJ, CNBC, SCMP, The Star, and Sin Chew. As “The Father of Asian FireWalking”, he coached TVB celebrities (Ekin Cheng Yee-Kin) to walk on 650°C fire; and raised HK$68M in the world’s 1st and only live TV Charity FireWalk (TVB Tung Wah Charity Show), before Tony Robbins even came to Asia. If Robert can get you to walk on 650⁰C fire, he can inspire you to be THE BEST. He champions CN-HK-EU-US Tycoons to be philanthropic, and to be angel investors to support the next generation of Jack Mas, Steve Jobs, Richard Bransons, Steven Spielbergs, or Barrack Obamas. With some slick motivational speakers with fake doctorates out there, graduates often describe Robert to be "the most credible, empowering, truthful Coach" who believe in his graduates to believe in themselves. ​However, clients have described Robert as "The #1 Cool Badass Alpha Change Expert". He has the coolest first class stature, rapport and trust from clients. He will not hesitate to tell the badass truth ever so gently because clients are paying him big bucks to reveal the truth, find solutions, persuade the hostile HODs, and align cross-teams within the organization. Originally based in Hong Kong for 20+ years, he had worked with top Branding/Ad agencies at J Walter Thompson and Leo Burnett, and was a certified FranklinCovey (7 Habits) in USA, and NLP MasterCoach (USA). His warmth is known to soften the most hardened, resistant sceptics. He will inspire your team to Go for Top 1, or to be a Dragon CEO. With boundless energies, Robert owns 15+ successful business Joint-Ventures, and created unique products under his global VC network called Chaen's Angels VC. He is deeply passionate about ChangeUTH Youth CSR, Science-Based Medicine (vs. quackery), short films and Reality TV. Touched by a personal tragedy through the loss of his HK-born Portuguese wife, co-coach and business partner, Brenda José of 18 years, Robert explores the many ways in which the spirit world is communicating with the living with real scientific studies and evidence. He gives inspiring conferences on The Secret Afterlife.

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