Women have tortured themselves (sometimes literally) to obtain the mythical ideal body for centuries. If you’re tearing your hair out to emulate your beauty “shero,” you’re not alone.
During the Renaissance, standards of beauty were practically the opposite of the ‘90s Barbie doll. Full figured women were considered the most attractive as their luscious girth insinuates she was wealthy enough to feed herself.
The Victorians believed an impossibly small 12” waist was the standard of female beauty. The extremes to which they went, with corsets strung up too tight to breathe, resulted in broken ribs and straining internal organs.
By the 1920s, ladies wanted to hide everything. The androgynous look of the straight lined flapper gown kept those curves under wraps (sometimes women would actually bandage down their chests to hide breast definition.)
Marilyn Monroe and other Hollywood stars brought curvy back. From the 1930s to the 1950s, women wanted to reveal as much as Jane Russell for the hilly ride of a lifetime.
We changed our minds again in the ‘60s flailing on the “Who’s Prettier” see-saw. Women went from trying to look like shapely Monroe to stick-thin Twiggy.
Remember ‘80s aerobics? The trend shifted to spandex and workout clothes as tight to your firm bottom as possible.
Enter the ‘90s and skinny is the way to go. Nowadays, there is some effort to celebrate all shapes and sizes of the female form with more buxom beauties on TV and in magazines.
The University of Texas set out to study what an average, healthy body type really looks like – how “normal” should be more realistically defined. They determined what men find attractive is a healthy body – their unconscious instinct seeks a mate who can physically handle childbirth.
The study concluded the “ideal” body type is a woman approximately 5’4” tall and weighing 140lbs. This translates to bust/waist/hip measurements of 39-25-36. (Don’t go measure yourself because, seriously, you’re lovely.)
One example for this ideal is model Kelly Brook. Though considered “plump” in the modeling world, who could argue this is an image of good health? Regardless of pictorial examples, health is felt, not measured. You know you’re your most beautiful when you feel good in your own skin. Use your intuition, throw away your scale, and let’s show our predecessors how it’s done!