The History of The “Perfect Woman”

Victorianna Beels, Copy Editor/ Business Manager

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   As you’re getting ready for school every morning, do you ever look in the mirror and wonder what you would look like if you had the “perfect” body? Do you know what a “perfect” body looks like? Well let’s take a look throughout history to see what the “perfect” body really looks like.

The 1800s

   The women of the Victorian Era were seen as attractive if they were frail looking. Neither skinny nor heavy were preferred, as long as the woman did not look too hearty or strong.

Photo Credit: Google

1900-1919

   At the turn of the century, the Gibson girl became the ideal image of a woman. The Gibson girl was an illustration created by Charles Gibson demonstrating what the perfect woman looked like. This woman was created as a tall, slender woman featuring a large bust and wide hips. She still wore quite a tight corset, flaunting the curves and hourglass figure.

The Gibson Girl

1920s

   After the end of World War I, some women joined the workforce, which left them feeling more empowered and in control than ever. They no longer desired putting their hair into ringlets or making themselves uncomfortable in corsets. The flappers revolutionized the look for women. This new found freedom gave women the life of the common man. This created an ideal figure that was quite boyish: short hair and a curveless figure was the womanly look in the roaring 20s. 

Flappers

1930-1940

  The depression created a terrible start to the 30s. The skinny figure and the perfect clothes were the last thing on the mind of the women of this time, Leading a full figure to be ideal. Nobody wanted to look stick thin, because that is too close to starving – but a voluptuous figure was way too unrealistic.

Photo Credit: Google

1950-1960

   With the war and depression now over, people were in the mood to celebrate. Women began to indulge, creating a fuller figure to become more common. Women were sporting the sought after hourglass figure and were loving it.

Photo Credit: Google

1960-1990

   The Women of the 60s were over the restricting lifestyle of the 50s, so they rebelled. The hourglass figure was officially out as well, as the most popular supermodel, Twiggy, came into vision of women. Thin was back in.

   The 70s saw skinny as the ideal, but the makeup and hairstyles of the time were what made the swing. The makeup and hair styles for the time were much less dramatic and natural than in the previous decade.

   The 80s brought around the supermodel era. Women were meant to be skinny yet athletic, tan, and tall. Women of the 80s looked up to the supermodels who were the perfect vision for physical appearance.

   The 90s brought on the thinnest feminine identity in history. The ideal body for a woman was as skinny and virtually unachievable as ever. The weights and body shapes that were being advertised to the women were creating unhealthy, unachievable goals for the women of this era.

The model of the 60s: Twiggy

Now

   Not too much has changed from the goals of the 90s to now. Almost 20 years later, women are still trying to achieve an unrealistic and unhealthy version of skinny because that is what is on the front cover of all media. The only difference today is that this perfect is not even a real image. The images that many use as their “body goals” are incredibly photoshopped, edited, and facetuned, meaning that the women in the pictures are not only not obtainable, but not even real.

The perfect body of today: Kim Kardashian

   So what really is the “ideal woman?” What should a woman look like to be deemed “attractive?” If you are looking at the posed questions and actually trying to come up with an answer, stop. There is no such thing as the perfect woman. All women have different bodies, and all women are beautiful. Looking at the history of what a woman is supposed to look like, the ideas have changed so dramatically.

   If your body is not perfect, who cares? Perfection is an illusion that absolutely no one can obtain. So be happy with your body and celebrate who YOU are and all the things that make YOU amazing.