Monday, 5 September 2016

Changing Body Shapes Throughout History: Women's

Society's ideal body type for women has changed drastically over time and more often than the British weather. Shifts in desired body shapes are never ending and perfectly summed up by BuzzFeed's 'Ideal Body Types Throughout History' video. In recent years, the media's concept of the 'ideal' woman hasn't been static. One minute you should have the physique of a Victoria's Secret Model, the next you need to be breaking the internet with curves like Kimmy K.

 Here at FD we're all about different body types as we cater to all shapes and sizes from 4-24. So we wanted to find out more about the ever changing body type.

Left: The Gibson Girl Middle: The Flapper Right: The Soft Siren

1910 - The Gibson Girl
The Gibson Girl came about after the women drawn on fashion magazines, such as Harper's Bazaar, by trend-setter illustrator, Charles Gibson became the signature look. With a showstopping 'figure 8' feminie shape, with a round soft body gathered by a small waist, this was the look you needed.

1920 - The Flapper
As the 'roaring twenties' came onto the scene, the silhouette did a complete 180. Gone were the days of a more curvacous look and now you had to be more streamlined, petite and straight as an arrow. Sex appeal shifted from a fuller chest to shorter hem-lines.

1930 - The Soft Siren
With the stock markets plummenting, spirits were low and so were the hem lines. With a natural waist and draped dresses, curves made a slight comeback as did the bust. The new bra-cup sizing was also invented in 1932.

Left: The Star Spangled Girl Middle: The Hourglass Right: The Twig

1940 - The Star Spangled Girl
The major influence in women's body shape was the second World War. As the men went to the battlefield, the style of dress echoed women's expanding role in the workforce. Women became taller and more commanding with boxy, broad military shoulders and 'bullet' bras.

1950 - The Hourglass
After the conformation of the World War era, a softer, more voluptuousness look was favoured. Women were encouraged to gain weight with supplements, such as 'Wate-On' to fill out their curves and look like the pin up girls of the decade, Marilyn Monroe and Jessica Rabbit. Playboy was created and along with that a tiny waist and larger chest was more desirable.

1960 - The Twig
Just like the twenties, there was another major shift. Women needed to be fresh-faced, girlish yet androgynous at the same time. Clothing became less constricted as the girdle was a thing of the past and shrunken shift dresses were the staple item. With the introduction of Weight Watches in 1963, skinny was in.

Left: The Disco Diva Middle: The Supermodel Right: Heroin Chic

1970 - The Disco Diva
Long lean and a dancing queen! Slim-hipped and a flatter stomach was ideal. Synthetic fabrics such as polyester and spandex were introduced to show off a leaner figure. We also saw Beverly Johnson, the first black woman to grace the cover of Vogue. Times were changing.

1980 - The Supermodel
Tall, legging, Amazonian supermodels came to the mainstream. The likes of Naomi Campbell and 'The Body', Elle MacPherson dominated popular culture. Along with athletic figures, the era of fitness came about thanks to fitness guru, Jane Fonda. Sports bra's became popular and muscles became acceptable and desirable on women. Yet they were seen as both empowering and discouraging at the same time.

1990 - Heroin Chic
 As the ninieties came about the look was totally different. Women became smaller with a thinner frame. The gaunt look associated with the grunge scene was favoured. Oversized sweaters and slouchy jeans all supported the petite, androgynous look. Fat was considered fat!

Left: The Buff Beauty Right: The Booty Babe

2000 - The Buff Beauty
With the turn of the Millennium, sexy was brought back! Gone were the days of looking pale and malnourished of the nineties and here were the days of visable abs and spray tans.

2010 - The Booty Babe
Thanks to the likes of Beyonce, J.Lo and Kim Kardashian, having a larger bottom is now the most desired asset. These days, women and girls try their hardest to be skinny, yet healthy and have large breasts and a large behind to match. So much so they are turning to plastic surgery to enhance their derrière and citing 'selfies' as a reason for the procedures.

Silhouettes change every year, nevermind every decade and are always going to be influenced by popular culture and the latest 'it' girl. Tina Fey wrote in her hit autobiography, 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.” Yet what it really comes down to is confidence. No matter what shape or size you are, all you need it confidence and own what you have.

(Images: Daily Mail)


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