What's in vogue isn't only relegated to the style of clothing women wear. Throughout our history there have been trends in the way society views the ideal standard of beauty in terms of body shape, skin tone, and even hair coloring. The standards do evolve over time and some of them even depend on the culture or location. For instance, a recent study on beauty indicated that 60% of US women thought their weight was "too high" while the majority of Italian and Argentinean women described their weight as being "just right".
Though standards do change from place to place and over great stretches of time, it's clear that having a good body image improves every area of your life. Women who don't feel confident in their appearance suffer from higher rates of depression. Looking your best isn't just an exercise in vanity, it's actually a key component to living a healthier, happier life.
Here are some of the body images which were once thought to be the height of beauty. Some of them have changed dramatically. Others are still in style today.
Feminine Beauty Through the Ages
- Large, voluptuous women of the Renaissance. During the Renaissance, larger women were thought to be the standard of beauty. Very thin women were thought to be less healthy or even sickly, while larger breasts and fuller hips gave the indication of greater fertility. During this age, pale skin was also viewed as the ideal. Some of these standards may well have evolved due to class - women of great means did not get sun exposure and they had ample food to eat.
- Tiny, corseted waists of Victorian women. During the Victorian era, a tiny waist was highly prized by women. Women wore corsets to secure the smallest waist possible. The style of dress added petticoats and large skirts which served to further embellish the small waist. Women in this era also prized fair skin; freckles and sun damage were seen as less desirable.
- Flappers and the Roaring 20's. During the 1920's, everything seemed more risque. Small waists were still in vogue, though so were small chests; mimicking the typical body type of a boy. Women wanted to de-emphasize their curves. They wore straight dresses with a short hem, sometimes with fringe or other embellishments. Small breasts and a less mature body was seen as the ideal.
- Hourglass figures. During the 40's and 50's, the Hollywood age of starlets brought to the forefront the feminine ideal of the hourglass figure. Full breasts, a small waist and ample hips were seen as beautiful. The hourglass figure is still prized by many, especially men.
- Waif and the rise of the supermodel. By the 1970's the waif look became a constant in fashion and that look was adopted by many in mainstream society. In fashion, elite designers often create with a very thin frame in mind and that's still true today.
- Tone, fit, and with a deference to the posterior. Today's ideal can be a wide variety of things. Often what women consider beautiful includes a bit of muscle toning, especially as we age, but not so much as to go over into bulky. Breast size is dependent on the woman's taste - it's more about the perkiness and shape than the size. Today many women prefer a tight, perky posterior.
Are You Confident in Your Appearance?
There's nothing wrong with wanting a little change or even major changes to help you reach the physical ideal that will bolster your confidence. If you're interested in more information about procedures to help you shine as your best self, contact Smith Plastic Surgery today!