Female Beauty Standards over the Past 100 Years
Date posted: 05/01/16
Female beauty has long been admired and observed by people, regardless of race, age, gender or religion. Beauty ideals have been in a constant state of change throughout history, from the Egyptian Queens to the generously proportioned women popularised during the Renaissance period.
In the past 100 years, though, thanks to the increased connectivity of the world, standards of beauty have changed faster than ever. Join us as we explore what looks have made heads turn over the past century.
1910: The Original Gibson Girl
Charles Gibson, an influential illustrator of the time, envisioned the perfect woman as having a body reminiscent of a loopy figure 8. A corset-cinched waist was key to this look, and a Gibson Girl carried herself regally.
The ‘20s: Flappers
Statuesque was out – welcome to the straight-and-narrow world of the flapper. This beauty was short and fast-paced. Nice legs were the order of the decade, with short hemlines designed to flash those gams at every opportunity.
The ‘30s: Curves Make a Comeback
Women with breasts and hips everywhere rejoiced – the streamlined look of the twenties was out, and the curves (ideally small curves) were back. This look embraced a natural waistline and more fitted bodices to show off a more rounded silhouette.
The ‘40s: Military Mistresses
Broad shoulders, angular bodies and pointed breasts crept into play as society started to move back toward taller women with longer limbs. These women were more commanding than perhaps those of the previous decade.
The ‘50s: The Marilyn Effect
Blonde bombshell with an hourglass figure. This manifestation of beauty was (and still is) highly sought after – it is often labelled as the epitome of womanly beauty, with many women aspiring to achieve the look and many men lusting after it.
The ‘60s: Petite Is In
Twiggy inspired an entire decade to try and look short and petite. Doll faces and simple shifts enhanced those coveted qualities, and the androgynous slimness that was popular in the 20s underwent a unique rebirth.
The ‘70s: Disco Icons
Once again, curves started to make a comeback, with the classic bell-bottom jeans and more revealing cuts showing a bit more skin. Synthetic fabrics flattered the slim figures that were recognised for their appeal.
The ‘80s: Super Tall Supermodels
A blind eye is turned to short women – tall is back in a big way. Fit, leggy women are placed on a pedestal, and a massive fitness craze influences the decade’s aesthetic.
The ‘90s: Take it Down a Notch
Big and powerful was no longer in – the nineties belonged to the androgynous waif. Grunge-inspired clothes emphasised the shrinking frame and dark red lips set off the look.
The ‘00s: Gaunt is Gone
Bronzed beauties embraced a healthy glow and a more realistic body composition. Abs started to make an appearance in women and mid-riff fashion showed off toned torsos.
Today: Booty Like Beyonce
It’s all about fit bodies with firm, round butts. Squats are a woman’s best friend, and strong is becoming sexy.
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