Take A Look At How The Ideal Female Body Type Has Changed Over The Last 100 Years

Published on 12/10/2020
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All of us know that fashion trends come and go. There are even occasions when, after only a few months, something fades into obscurity. For Pinterest boards, the fashion industry’s ebb and flow is truly a challenge. However, it seems like garments weren’t the only ones that fluctuate when it comes to popularity. It also seems like the female body goes through trends. Magazines have shown people what is considered hot and not over the years. In a particular era, a famous female celebrity is often regarded as the embodiment of beauty. Keep reading for a century to see the various “ideal” body types of females.

The Ideal Body Types Of Women Throughout The 20th Century

The Ideal Body Types Of Women Throughout The 20th Century

1910s – The Gibson Girl

It was too expensive to publish photos in magazines back then, so businesses would hire visual artists in an attempt to get their point across. At that time, Charles Gibson was one of the more famous women’s magazine illustrators. Clearly, this piece you are taking a look at was developed by the artist! He portrayed wealthy women wearing tight corsets, giving them a ramrod-straight posture as well as a figure of the hourglass. Corsets can trigger breathing difficulty, so it must have been hard for girls to wear them.

1910s – The Gibson Girl

1910s – The Gibson Girl

A Gibson Girl – Camille Clifford

Speaking of the Gibson Girl, a legitimate variant was considered to be the Belgian-born stage actress Camille Clifford. Obviously, she entered a contest directed at finding women who strongly resembles a drawing by Charles Gibson, and she came out on top! The judges assumed Clifford was the one among the candidates who looked most like the illustrations. She had an hourglass figure as well as a towering coiffure, both of which characterized the elements of the Gibson Girl style.

A Gibson Girl – Camille Clifford

A Gibson Girl – Camille Clifford

1920s – The Flapper

There was not really much in common between the Gibson Girl and the It-girl of the roaring 20s. The flapper sported short hair, and there was no corset in her closet. The hourglass figure was no longer hip, as was the dramatic updo. When the 19th Amendment was ratified, after almost a century of protesting and fighting for this right, women were finally granted the right to vote! Fashion changed after this political upheaval.

1920s – The Flapper

1920s – The Flapper

A Lean Beauty – Margaret Gorman

In 1921, Miss America was crowned by Margaret Gorman at the age of 16. Before becoming the first-ever Miss America, her athletic ability, outgoing personality, and past achievements earned her the Miss District of Columbia title. Her fans believed the body type of the beauty queen was the ideal of that decade. You can see that this was very different from the curvy Gibson Girls of the previous era. People admired women at that time who had lean bodies!

A Lean Beauty – Margaret Gorman

A Lean Beauty – Margaret Gorman

1930s – The Soft Siren

Although the Roaring Twenties were iconic as well as fun, the period wasn’t always around. The market crashed, as well as the radar also dropped off the boxy flapper dresses. More fitted outfits have been the attire of women’s choice in the ’30s. The shapes of women’s bodies were hugged better by these dresses. It would be quite a faux pas if this happened a couple of years earlier! As they say, “Times do change for a lady of fashion.”

The Soft Siren Of The ‘30s

1930s – The Soft Siren

A Hollywood Stunner – Dolores Del Rio

Many people thought in those days that Dolores del Rio seemed to have the ideal body. She was a true body inspo, in the words of the kids today! Her body was described by the magazine Photoplay as “warmly curved” as well as “roundly turned,” which said that the Mexican star had the best figure among Hollywood celebrities. Dolores del Rio went on to become one of the most significant stars of the Golden Age of Mexican cinema.

A Hollywood Stunner – Dolores Del Rio

A Hollywood Stunner – Dolores Del Rio

The 1940s – The Star-Spangled Girl

The 1940s made a huge difference. Let’s also not neglect that during this decade, the Second World War took place. The global dispute has almost impacted everything, such as what people see as the ideal type of body. Broad shoulders and long limbs have become desirable. The “bullet” or “torpedo” bra was also introduced during this era. In general, at that time, women’s fashion was about the hourglass figure silhouettes with manly details: nipped-in high waist tops, padded shoulders, as well as down-to-the-knees A-line skirts.

1940s – The Star-Spangled Girl

1940s – The Star-Spangled Girl

The Pin-Up Girl – Betty Grable

You’re certainly familiar with Rosie the Riveter! In the iconic poster that became popular in the ’40s, she is the female factory employee. Betty Grable may not be as brawny as the icon of culture, but we certainly think it was just as popular as the American actress. Grable was also a pin-up girl, quite apart from acting, and she was the most admired one! It is likely that all the men who have been in the armed forces had an image of her in their closets.

The Pin-Up Girl – Betty Grable

The Pin-Up Girl – Betty Grable

1950s – The Hourglass Figure

Women who’ve been slightly curvaceous were deemed attractive in the ’40s. Things went a step further in the ’50s. In prominence, the hourglass shape rose. It was no longer thought that strong shoulders, as well as thin physique, were desirable. In fact, magazines even started to place advertisements for different weight gainers who appears to be able to widen their hips! To help “round out” women’s figures, hip and butt padding was also sold.

1950s – The Hourglass Figure

The 1950s – The Hourglass Figure

The Ideal Body – Marilyn Monroe

We are fairly sure this woman requires no introduction in this image. You know Marilyn Monroe without much of a doubt! She had the ideal hourglass shape, simply put. Her measured values of 34-24-35 were nearly identical to the approximate curves of movie star Grace Kelly at about 118 pounds (35-22-35). It is easy to see why the star was so envious of many women in the ’50s. ” The body is meant to be seen, not all covered up,” Monroe said once.

The Ideal Body – Marilyn Monroe

The Ideal Body – Marilyn Monroe

1960s – The Twig

This just shows that it is achievable for the ideal female body type to modify so radically within just a few years. The twig overthrew the hourglass figure after a decade. All of a sudden, having curves was no longer considered fashionable. This time, the narrow hips, small waists, and thin limbs were all about people! They preferred a boyish frame.

1960s – The Twig

1960s – The Twig

A Skinny Legend – Twiggy

There was as always, a specific famous person who in the ’60s had become the perfect representative of the female ideal body type. It is none other than the Lesley “Twiggy” Lawson, the British cultural icon, which can be defined as doll-faced, petite, and super slender. Ever since she began modeling at the young age of 16 in 1965, she has managed to retain her girlish figure. Her gangly frame somehow symbolized a carefree and independent life.

A Skinny Legend – Twiggy

A Skinny Legend – Twiggy

1970s – The Disco Diva

Again the pendulum swings! Throughout the ’70s, the general public once again appreciated curves. The scenario wasn’t quite the same, however, as it was in the ’50s. People had to blend in with particular trends during this era, which has been a bit more out there. We would like to inform you that the disco era was in the ’70s! That being said, the party girl was still pressured to maintain a slim-hipped as well as flat-stomached body to rock the discotheque’s famous fashion trends.

1970s – The Disco Diva

1970s – The Disco Diva

Charlie’s Angels Stars

You can’t talk about ’70s women and not mention the Angels of Charlie! In those days, Jake Jackson, Jaclyn Smith, as well as Farrah Fawcett were regarded as three of the most famous actresses. On top of that, many individuals thought the stars really encapsulated sexiness! Besides Twiggy, Farrah Fawcett may have been petite, but the former had a larger bust. One of the most beautiful women of the decade was also considered to be the Charlie’s Angels celebrity.

Charlie’s Angels Stars

Charlie’s Angels Stars

1980s – The Supermodel

A new idea, the ‘supermodel,’ was introduced to the public in the ’80s. That was a title given to women who had long legs and were taller than the average. Practically, without having at least a peek of any of these gorgeous women, you could not go through one episode of an MTV show. Supermodels captured the attention of the world during that time. They also were widely cited in pop culture, quite apart from the runway.

1980s – The Supermodel

1980s – The Supermodel

Taller Than Most – Rachel Hunter

Just under six feet tall, in comparison to most men, model Rachel Hunter is taller. This was really obvious when she stood next to her ex, Rod Stewart. After all, he was just 5’10 “. We’re pretty sure you remember her from the ’80s and 90s anyway. She also graced the covers of different magazines, including Vogue, Rolling Stone, Playboy, and Sports Illustrated, aside from appearing in various music videos.

Taller Than Most – Rachel Hunter

Taller Than Most – Rachel Hunter

Another Icon – Elle Macpherson

There is a certain lady we have to mention on the topic of supermodels of the ’80s: Elle Macpherson! She is still going strong, just in case you didn’t know. In fact, the Australian model was featured in 2014 in Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit edition. She holds the record for the magazine’s most cover appearances, five times. Time coined the nickname “The Body” for her in 1989.

Another Icon – Elle Macpherson

Another Icon – Elle Macpherson

1990s – The Waif

By now, you should’ve seen the sequence in all of these ideal trends of the body already. It seems like the decade that follows is always a response to the one before it. In the ’90s, we saw the waif become popular. This type of woman, if she had any, was short and thin with a few curves. This look is called ‘heroin chic’ by some people. As you’ve seen, this is really dissimilar from the ideal body in the ’80s.

1990s – The Waif

1990s – The Waif

Talented And Gorgeous – Winona Ryder

Look no further if you are looking for a woman that might fit that criterion! The poster child of that look is Winona Ryder. The gamine had a doll-like face and delicate shoulders around her, almost a lollipop structure. Ben Stiller, her costar, said once, “She’s like a little figurine for the coffee table!“ That probably helped her professional life to some degree. Of course, she is, at the same time, a talented actress.

Talented And Gorgeous – Winona Ryder

Talented And Gorgeous – Winona Ryder

2000s – The Buff Beauty

The trend changed once more at the turn of the millennium. We said farewell to short, skinny girls and then saw the rise of taller, more athletic women who graced the front pages of various magazines! In the ’90s, the popular pale, gaunt, and glass-eyed look was no longer popular. The era of airbrushed tans and visible abs is now here. While in the 2000s, there was more emphasis on curves than in the ’90s, it was still different from the’ 50s or ’80s.

2000s – The Buff Beauty

2000s – The Buff Beauty

“The Most Beautiful Girl In The World” – Gisele Bundchen

Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen had become a big star in the early 2000s! When she graced the magazine’s cover, Rolling Stone even called her “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World.” She is no longer in her prime, but she continues to slay it through modeling for various clothing companies. In addition, she is still included in the “Most Influential People in Fashion” and “Most Beautiful Women in the World” articles.

“The Most Beautiful Girl In The World” – Gisele Bundchen

“The Most Beautiful Girl In The World” – Gisele Bundchen

2010s – The Booty Babe

We’ve said this already. It seems like, after some time, every trend goes back into fashion. This is also the case for the figure of the hourglass. Thanks to stars like Queen Bey, the ‘bootylicious’ look grew in popularity once again. The New York Times even wrote an article about it. Some sought the assistance of personal trainers, while others went to see plastic surgeons. Curves have returned in the 2010s, but big bums and wide hips are more emphasized!

2010s – The Booty Babe

2010s – The Booty Babe

Showing Off Her Assets – Kim Kardashian

If you don’t know Kim Kardashian, you’ve probably lived under a rock. She is also known for her “assets,” aside from her hit reality TV shows and famous husband. In fact, there is a specific photo with a bottle of champagne that drives home the point. Time magazine included her on its list of 100 most influential individuals in 2015. Kim Kardashian also ventured into Skims’s shapewear business.

Showing Off Her Assets – Kim Kardashian

Showing Off Her Assets – Kim Kardashian

Another Poster Child – Jennifer Lopez

She may not be renowned now as Kim Kardashian, but Jennifer Lopez is still known. There’s no way we won’t mention her here either. She also had a popular song called ‘Booty’ after all. The star was made for us to be included in lists such as this one. Actually, various parts of the globe have different ideals of beauty. To see what they are, keep reading. Perhaps you will be surprised by some of them.

Another Poster Child – Jennifer Lopez

Another Poster Child – Jennifer Lopez

Beauty Standards In The U.S.A.

Body type perceptions and desires are different depending on the country. Throughout the world, people admire various characteristics. They want to have a look that is different from many others in a certain way. From this list, you can tell that the ideal beauty in the U.S. is tall and curvy, with blonde hair and blue eyes. Americans also, however, adore light brown eyes. The nation does set the tone for Western culture in many ways. In many shapes and sizes, there are celebrities, so this typical idea is rather interesting.

Beauty Standards In The U.S.A.

Beauty Standards In The U.S.A.

Beauty Standards In China

With respect to women, in China, there has always been a particular look. They also have their own ideal of beauty, which differs somewhat from the majority. Many women aspire to be really skinny in China. A few of the key aspirations that women have are having very pale skin and being really thin. Big eyes, a specific nose shape, as well as a small waist, are also what they want. Women are trying to make their skin look paler in terms of makeup.

Beauty Standards In China

Beauty Standards In China

Beauty Standards In Egypt

As most individuals and many different nations have their very own views of beauty, diversity can be seen in the Middle East. For instance, women who are curvy with a larger upper body can be seen as beautiful in Egypt. It is believed that, in general, these women are found more attractive in Egyptian culture. It was envisaged that Cleopatra would have such a type of body. The general culture is truly conservative and hidden. This differs quite a bit from western countries.

Beauty Standards In Egypt

Beauty Standards In Egypt

Beauty Standards In Switzerland

As the most favorable, the Swiss perceive women who really are slim and rather tall. A preference for brown hair is also present. As for eyes, fair eyes are the most appealing to the Swiss. This is fascinating because the stereotypical Swiss woman has blue eyes and is actually blonde. In each place, something must have occurred for the standards to be created. The very next characterizations, however, are certainly something.

Beauty Standards In Switzerland

Beauty Standards In Switzerland

Beauty Standards In Bulgaria

According to Bulgarian standards of beauty, a woman should have a big chest, a tiny thin waist, and wide hips to be considered beautiful. Aside from that, the concept is that women have long fingers and are small-boned. Bulgarian women often have dark-colored hair and are thin. They typically have skin that is fresh and moisture-filled and continues to give them a glowy appearance. The climate in Bulgaria is a major reason why women have this trait.

Beauty Standards In Bulgaria

Beauty Standards In Bulgaria

Beauty Standards In The United Kingdom

In the U.K., a bit of curvature and form are well-desired. A petite is also preferred for the medium-sized upper body. Just under 6 feet is the ideal height for women. 5-feet-7 is the more precise estimate of the ideal. In different countries, people have different opinions. In every country, the preferred beauty, as well as ideal body type, also are distinctive. In the UK, women who have defined cheeks and collarbones are seen as gorgeous.

Beauty Standards In The United Kingdom

Beauty Standards In The United Kingdom

Beauty Standards In The Philippines

A woman with long dark hair, an angular jaw as well as a face, and a small forehead is the ideal beauty of the Philippines. Furthermore, women are also petite but really busty. The standard for beauty revolves a lot around the color of pale skin. Many women are believed to scrub a lot and also use products to make their skin lighter. This is actually a major beauty standard in many Asian countries.

Beauty Standards In The Philippines

Beauty Standards In The Philippines

Beauty Standards In France

The French embody the supermodel look. After all, the two are pretty much aligned. The French like tall and skinny women, especially. In every aspect, these females can even encapsulate the girl next door or even have a tom-boy look, although they are tall and petite. French women are usually natural. With what they have, they work. They aim to emphasize their characteristics, and they usually do not like cosmetic procedures as well as fake features.

Beauty Standards In France

Beauty Standards In France

Beauty Standards In Bangladesh

In Bangladesh, the ideal of beauty involves brown eyes and simply perfect, flawless skin that shines. Females are renowned for their glowing and radiant skin. Long and dark hair is also frequently noticed. Thick eyebrows, larger eyes, and a sharp nose are ideal as well. The preferred option tends to lean to a curvier figure body-wise. However, the emphasis is on hair and facial characteristics, one which we haven’t seen a lot in other nations.

Beauty Standards In Bangladesh

Beauty Standards In Bangladesh

Beauty Standards In Chile

In fact, Chile’s ideal beauty and fashion trends date back to a more natural time when people were involved in agriculture and lived off the land. Thus, for Chilean people, the ideal beauty for women has thinner eyebrows and wears little or no makeup. There is also, however, a preference for blonde hair, which in Chile is quite uncommon. A lot of women color their hair blonde, and many advertisements can be seen across the country for blonde hair.

Beauty Standards In Chile

Beauty Standards In Chile

Beauty Standards In Italy

The ideal of beauty in Italy is rather comparable to France’s beauty standards in such a manner that the typical body structure is tall and skinny. There is often clear skin as well as thin eyebrows in Italian females. Generally, they love to wear makeup on their eyelids as well as lips with a little color. It is desired to be skinny, but the ideal is a look that is somewhat soft and seems pleasant for someone to touch.

Beauty Standards In Italy

Beauty Standards In Italy

Beauty Standards In Nigeria

In Nigeria, lighter skin is associated with increased classwork and wealth. Because of this, many individuals who want to become associated with the higher class are looking for skin lightening products. There is a desire for thicker and curvy females when it comes to shape. This is because it is an indication of illness or bad health to be thin. In Nigeria, therefore, it is ideal to be curvy and thick. For them, being somewhat larger is a sign of good health.

Beauty Standards In Nigeria

Beauty Standards In Nigeria

Beauty Standards In Romania

Romanian women are under heavy pressure to be skinny, so their culture includes smoking and dieting. Apart from that, when it relates to cosmetic procedures, which are quite common and very accessible, Western ways are strongly influenced. For women to dress up, whatever their line of work may be, there is also an expectation. A teacher is not an uncommon sight in heels. There’s a fine line, however, between being conservative and then being revealing. In reality, if they show too much, women are condemned-the beauty ideal values a type of trim body that is well-built on the bust. Nails and long hair are also preferred for maintenance.

Beauty Standards In Romania

Beauty Standards In Romania

Beauty Standards In Serbia

The ideal of facial beauty in Serbia promotes large lips and large, blue eyes. Body-wise, Serbian women with a big bust and long legs which are thin are seen as beautiful. Being well-kept, aside from that, is ideal, so females have their nails and hair done. Many of the world’s models are from Serbia. Without Serbs on it, a list of the most appealing women in the world would not have been complete.

Beauty Standards In Serbia

Beauty Standards In Serbia

Beauty Standards In South Africa

South Africa embodies a range of ideals when it comes to the ideals of beauty and body shape. It is to be expected that, since it has many cultures, there are many preferences. However, one of the main beauty ideals is having a small waist, a bigger bottom, and wide hips. South Africa, rich in its culture, is somewhat divided. Among black people, lighter skin is preferred, while tanned skin is what white people like many desire fair eyes for eye color.

Beauty Standards In South Africa

Beauty Standards In South Africa

Beauty Standards In Ukraine

You might think that blue eyes and blonde hair are preferred in Ukraine, but obviously, the ideal beauty is dark hair and really defined cheekbones. Slim as well as pale women are seen as beautiful, though up until the 1900s, chubby women were valued as the ideal. In Ukraine, a plastic or phony look is not valued. There’s a more natural look they prefer. They have no standards and expectations, looking like models as well.

Beauty Standards In Ukraine

Beauty Standards In Ukraine

Beauty Standards In Peru

Peru values the beauty of its indigenous people, just like Chile. However, it is not their ideal. The western vision of beauty is what is admired. They associate it with wealth as well. The South American nation’s beauty ideal is the western look of skinny and tall women with blue eyes and blonde hair. Peru has distinct origins and a host of cultures. They dread the idea of the darkening of their skin. In order to prevent melanin production and prevent their skin from darkening, many of those who work outdoors definitely cover-up.

Beauty Standards In Peru

Beauty Standards In Peru

Beauty Standards In The Netherlands

Dutch women are slim and tall. They had also lengthened features as well. This could be the justification why the modeling world often welcomes Dutch women, who, on average, are some of the world’s tallest women. The average height of females in Europe is 5 feet and 7 inches on average (169.9 centimeters). Also, they are often quite natural looking. Although blonde is certainly much wanted, this may not be a big preference. It’s a commonality, however.

Beauty Standards In The Netherlands

Beauty Standards In The Netherlands

Beauty Standards In Argentina

In Argentina, a curvy figure with broad hips and a slim waist is admired. Argentine women also often wear accentuated makeup, trying to make sure that color pops and drastic lashes are added. Natural and clear skin includes facial preferences since they also like very attention-drawing lips and big eyes. Tight-fitting clothing is another common discovery. It was reported that Argentina used to be the world’s top (per capita) importer of silicone implants.

Beauty Standards In Argentina

Beauty Standards In Argentina

Beauty Standards In Kenya

Dark skin, tall foreheads, elongated necks, as well as skinny bodies are included in some admiration in Kenya. There has been, moreover, a preference for bright colors in both clothing and makeup. In Kenyan culture and among Kenyans, short hair is also a common trait. The Masai tribe women also commonly wear heavy jewelry made of elephant tusks or stones to stretch their earlobes. Elongated earlobes demonstrate the status of a woman within the tribe.

Beauty Standards In Kenya

Beauty Standards In Kenya

What’s Next

That perfection does not exist is our takeaway from this. In terms of things like body ideals, this is particularly true! It is just people who are making unrealistic norms over something that most people can not control. Ultimately, we can just look in the mirror and be perfectly content with what we are seeing. If you’re not happy, maybe the best thing is if you work on it.

What’s Next

What’s Next

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