See How Much The Ideal Female Body Type Has Changed Over The Last Century

Published on 12/02/2020
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Everybody can tell you that trends in fashion come and go. There are days when it doesn’t take even a year for anything to disappear into obscurity! Pinterest boards can barely keep up with the fashion industry’s ebb and flow. But clothes are not the only items in terms of popularity that appear to fluctuate. It feels like the female body is going through patterns and fads as well. Magazines have taught us over the years what is considered hot and not. There is also a famous female celebrity in that period, which is regarded as the epitome of beauty. Let’s go back in time and see how, over the course of a century, the “ideal” body shape of women has shifted.

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 barely have anything 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 a beauty queen who became Miss America in 1921. 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 as “roundly turned” and “warmly curved”.

Delores Del Rio Was A Hollywood Stunner

Dolores Del Rio Was A Hollywood Stunner

The Star-Spangled Girl Of The ‘40s

The ’40s brought a lot of alterations. Let us not forget that the decade of the Second World War was here. The worldwide conflict, including the ideal body type, affected just about everything. It became desirable 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 sure that Rosie the Riveter is familiar to you! Although Betty Grable wasn’t as brawny as the feminist icon, she was just as popular, we daresay. She was the most admired pin-up girl in the ’40s! To say that all the men in the army had a photo 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 curvy women were considered attractive in the ’40s. With the rise of the hourglass shape, the ’50s took it a step further. Gone were the days when it was thought that a thin physique and strong shoulders were desirable. Magazines even began placing advertisements for weight gainers who claimed to widen their hips!

The Hourglass Figure Of The ‘50s

The Hourglass Figure Of The ‘50s

Marilyn Monroe Had The Ideal Body

We doubt that in this photo, we need to introduce the lady. In our minds, there is not a single doubt that you know Marilyn Monroe! After all, she has the perfect 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 ideal type of female body goes from one end of the spectrum to another. The twig overthrew the hourglass figure after a decade. All of a sudden, curves were not considered fashionable anymore. People were all about thin 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 specific celebrity continued to become the symbol of the ideal body type. 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 probably wasn’t difficult to keep her girlish figure.

Twiggy Is A Skinny Legend

Twiggy Is A Skinny Legend

The Disco Diva Of The ‘70s

We hope that in your favor, the pendulum swings! The general public appreciated curves once again in the ’70s. It was not the same as in the ’50s, however. Everyone had to fit into specific trends that were a little more out there, for one thing. Allow 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

Without mentioning Charlie’s Angels, it is difficult to talk about the women of the ’70s! We got Jaclyn Smith, Farrah Fawcett, and Jake Jackson, from left to right. They were considered among the most famous actresses in those days. In addition, people felt 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 concept called the “supermodel” was introduced to the world during the ’80s. This was a title given to women who are taller than average and have long legs. Without spying on any of these gorgeous ladies, it was hard to go through an episode of your favorite MTV show. During that period of time, they took the world 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 very obvious when she stood beside her ex, Rod Stewart. He was only 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.

Another Icon In The Form Of Elle Macpherson

Another Icon In The Form Of Elle Macpherson

The Waif Of The ‘90s

We are confident that the pattern in the trends could not have been missed. 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. In addition, in articles about the Most Beautiful Women in the World” and Most Influential People in Fashion,” she is still regularly featured.

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 Kim Kardashian is familiar with you. 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 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, Jennifer Lopez has not forgotten us! There’s no way it would be possible. Adding J feels right. Lo to list. Lo to list. She even released a hit called “Booty,” after Asking us, she was made to appear on lists such as this one. Throughout the world, beauty ideals are different. Every country has the other 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 the body type are also different depending on the country. People 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 a distinct 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 thin 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 strive 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, each location must occur, but the next descriptions are something else.

Switzerland

Switzerland

Bulgaria

A small and thin waist, a large bust, and broad hips are the Bulgarian beauty standards or the typical figure of Bulgarian women. The idea, however, is that these women are generally small-boned and have long fingers and hands. Women are usually thin with dark-colored hair, typically with very fresh and moisture-filled skin that allows them to look glowy because of the Bulgarian weather.

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. 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. In addition, women are also 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 significant beauty standard.

Philippines

Philippines

France

The French embody the supermodel look. After all, the two are majorly aligned. French women especially like skinny and tall women. They conclude that these women can even look like a tomboy or embody the girl next door, but they are generally tall and petite in all aspects. French women are usually natural and work to emphasize what they have, which means that plastic surgery and fake elements are often not seen or preferred.

France

France

Bangladesh

The Bangladesh beauty ideal includes brown eyes, merely perfect and flawless skin that glows. They’re known for their radiant and glowing skin. Long, dark hair is also seen frequently. Thick eyebrows, a sharp nose, and more enormous eyes are also ideal expressions. The body’s preference is more of a curvy figure, but the emphasis is on facial features and hair, something we haven’t seen so much in other countries.

Bangladesh

Bangladesh

Chile

Chile’s fashion trends and beauty ideals date back to a more natural time when people lived off the land and engaged in agriculture. In women with thinner eyebrows, women who wear little to no makeup, Chilean people thus see the ideal of beauty. The ideal, however, is also to be blond, which in Chile is uncommon. Many women dye their hair blonde, and it is widely seen throughout the nation in advertisements.

Chile

Chile

Italy

In Italy, it can be seen that the ideal and standard of beauty is somewhat similar to that of France in the sense that tall and skinny are the typical body structure. Italian women often have thin eyebrows and clear skin, and makeup is usually preferred on the lips and eyelids with a tad of color. It is also a somewhat soft look and looks pleasant for one to touch, as far as being skinny is desired.

Italy

Italy

Nigeria

Lighter skin is seen as an association between wealth and higher-class employment in Nigeria. As many want to be associated with a higher class, skin lightening products are widely sought out. However, the preference in terms of shape is thicker and curvy women, due to the idea of being thin, indicating sickness or bad health. Therefore, in Nigeria, the ideal is to be voluptuous, 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 culture to smoke and diet. Also, because plastic surgery is very much done and very available, they are very much influenced by western ways. It is not uncommon for women to see a teacher in heels, no matter their profession, to dress up. However, there is a fine border between being conservative and revealing-women are condemned for demonstrating too much. Long hair, preserved nails, and a well-built type of body on the bust and trim.

Romania

Romania

Serbia

In Serbia, the ideal of facial beauty also promotes large, blue eyes and big lips. Body-wise, however, Serbian women should ideally be long-legged, thin with a larger than average bust. The ideal is also to be well maintained-to have one’s hair and nails done. Serbian women are responsible for many of the world’s models, and they are truly unique.

Serbia

Serbia

South Africa

Concerning body shape and ideals of beauty, South Africa embodies many different ideals. With its many cultures, many preferences exist. However, one of the main ideas is to have a tiny waist, wide hips, and a bigger bottom. South Africa, rich in its culture, also promotes a desire for lighter skin among black people, but a need to be somewhat tanned among white people. Fair eyes are widely desired with regard to eye color.

South Africa

South Africa

Ukraine

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

Ukraine

Ukraine

Peru

Peru values its indigenous people’s beauty just as Chile does, but this is not what their ideal is the Western vision of beauty is what wealth admires and associates with. The ideal of beauty values a western look with blonde hair and blue eyes of tall, skinny women. They fear the idea that their skin may darken, and many of those who work outdoors cover up from head to toe to prevent any formation of darkening melanin, showing a multitude of cultures and distinct origins in Peru.

Peru

Peru

Netherlands

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

Netherlands

Netherlands

Argentina

A curvy figure is admired in Argentina-slim waits and broad hips, but Argentinian women often wear accentuating makeup with color pops and drastic lashes. Some of the facial preferences include natural and clear skin but very attention-drawing lips. Other common discoveries are big eyes and tight-fitting clothes.

Argentia

Argentina

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 clothing 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 concept that there is no such thing as perfection. When it comes to stuff like body ideals, this is even more true! People create these unrealistic standards over something that most people can’t control. 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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