How female body image has changed over the past 100 years.


Like fashion, makeup and hairstyles, body image isn’t immune to the influence of trends.

Throughout history, different body shapes and features have had their time in the spotlight. Clothing in the 1950s was designed to highlight a woman’s hips and waist, while the rise of Kate Moss in the mid-90s popularised waif-like figures.

Kate Moss in an ad for Calvin Klein's Obsession

Right now, bums are, ironically, front and centre - you can partially thank Nicky Minaj and Kim Kardashian for that.

Watch 100 years of beauty trends in just one minute.

These body shape 'trends' evolve from all kinds of influences, including pop culture, the media, fashion, sport and even politics. For instance, women in the 1940s viewed a tall, commanding, "military-shouldered" body shape as desirable, which were then emphasised by so-called "torpedo" bras; clearly World War II impacted more than just world politics.

These are some of the It Girls whose body shapes mirrored (and influenced) the "ideal" look of their respective decades:

US website Greatist has created a series of infographics (which you can see here) tracking how the "ideal" female image has changed over the past century - which they've handily compiled into this completely mesmerising gif:

Really, it's absurd that a certain kind of body can become "trendy". A woman's frame, height, curves and other physical features are determined by genetics and, with some exceptions, she can't do much to change that.

Aside from you, who do you think has the ideal body shape?

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