There’s a reason that magazine covers include lines like ‘5 moves for Michelle Obama Arms’ or ‘The Secret for a Booty Like Beyonce’. It’s what society has decided is beautiful right now. But remember that if you’ve ever longed for this actresses’ waist or that singer’s legs, society s’ view of the ‘ideal ‘body shape is not static. It’s changed a lot over the years, and over the course of history almost every body type has been deemed ‘the desirable one’. Don’t believe us? Take a look at just a few of the different ‘ideal’ body types from the last century.
1910 – The Gibson Girl
From ‘1910 through to around 1918, corsets were the absolute height of fashion. Women were expected to have a soft, rounded body that wasn’t touched by muscle or labour, but with a cinched waistline that went almost beyond reality. A long neck and sloped shoulders were also considered desirable, and a lightly painted face framed with big bouncy curls completed the current ideal look. And if you didn’t have that naturally long, elegant neck? Too bad.
1920 – The Flapper
This strikingly different look stuck around for a decade, and influenced fashion for several years. A big change from the pinching corsets, complicated updos and statuesque height requirements of the previous decade, the ‘flapper’ body type was all about the straight up and down silhouette. Flat-chested girls with boyish figures and narrow hips were in fashion, and this era had a particular passion for legs. Short skirts were all the rage, guaranteed to show a flash of garter while doing the shimmy. So, if you had a petite, angular body and a short, boyish hairstyle, you were in luck!
1930 -The Soft Siren
Perhaps as a way to bounce back from all of those sharp angles, the 1930s ideal body shape was a lot softer. Curves (albeit only small ones) were encouraged. Hemlines grew longer again as the stock market took a dip (which is a completely different trend we would love to go into), and bigger, rounder hips were seen as the height of beauty. However small breasts were still preferred, a hangover from the flapper girl days.
1940 – The Star-Spangled Girl
That soft 30s look didn’t last too long thanks to the start of WW2. Since world events often influence fashion, broad, boxy, military shoulders became the ‘hot’ look. The 40s were once again all about angular bodies, with bras even taking on a ‘pointy’ look (think ‘torpedo and ‘bullet’). So the ideal body type swings back to taller, long-limbed, square figures.
1950 – The Hourglass
Rebellion sank in around the 50s, and the ideal body type swung from angles to curves as far as the eye can see. ‘Sexy’ was curvy breasts, hips and bum, with a tiny waist to bring it all together. Think Jessica Rabbit – and yes it was just as unrealistic and impractical as it sounds. Women were ‘inspired’ to aim for this image of large breasts and hips, but often struggled to keep their waists to that ‘desirable’ level. The struggle worked both ways though. Skinnier women were even advised to take weight gain supplements or wear padding to get the voluptuous curvy body that was so in!
Remember that these body types were reflective of what society found most desirable during that time – not what real women actually looked like. It just goes to show you that just because you don’t meet-societies current vision of ideal, it doesn’t mean your body shape isn’t beautiful. Everyone deserves to feel sexy- so go flaunt whatever body you have! Not sure what to flaunt it in? Check out our range of plus sizes lingerie.