How Women’s Ideal Body Types Have Changed Over the Last 3,000 Years

How Women’s Ideal Body Types Have Changed Over the Last 3,000 Years

Dating back thousands of years, what has been deemed as “beautiful” has drastically changed. It’s hard to keep up with the ideal body shapes throughout different eras, but here we show you just how rapidly the standard of beauty has changed.

1. Ancient Egypt (1292 – 1069 B.C.)
Art from Egypt depicts the preferred women’s body type of this era; dark braided hair, a slender frame, slim shoulders, high waists, and perfectly symmetrical features. As well as dark, feline-like eye makeup to amp up their femininity.

2. Ancient Greece (500 – 300 B.C.)
The Greeks were obsessed with beauty during ancient times. While the men spent hours working out to chisel their bodies into rockhard masterpieces, women with thick midsections and smaller breasts were all the rage.

3. Han Dynasty (206 B.C. – 220 A.D.)
Feminine beauty qualities included pail skin, long black hair, small feet, bright red lipstick, and white teeth. Almond-shaped eyes and eyebrows the “shape of silkworms” were also quite popular. Women were expected to have delicate, almost fragile bodies.

4. Italian Renaissance (1400 – 1700)
With strong values based in Catholic traditions, women of the Italian Renaissance were expected to be virtuous and pure in their appearance, which included full hips, large breasts, strawberry blonde hair, a round stomach, fair skin, and high foreheads.

5. Victorian England (1837 – 1901)
To discover the preferred women’s body type during this era, one should look towards Queen Victoria. A corset perfectly sculpted her waist, causing her hips to jut out and create an hourglass shape. Women also kept their hair long as it was considered the ultimate sign of femininity.

6. Roaring Twenties (1920s)
Women of the Roaring ’20s weren’t too bothered with projecting themselves as feminine works of art. A more masculine appearance eventually became the status quo; a short bob haircut and clothing that gave their bodies more of a “boyish” appearance was common.

7. Swinging Sixties (1960s)
English model Twiggy became the ideal body type. The ultra-thin model was tall with a very slender frame and a short haircut to go along with it.

8. Supermodel Era (1980s)
The workout craze of the 1980s meant women looked toward the slim and fit body types of this era, including Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell. It was all about being tall and slim, with a somewhat athletic appearance without sacrificing natural, feminine curves.

9. Heroine Chic (1990s)
This was synonymous with English model Kate Moss who sported an overly thin frame, pale skin, and dark eyes. It’s hard to believe an appearance that was so deeply rooted in drug culture was considered ideal.

10. Modern Beauty (2000s – Present)
Say goodbye to Heroine Chic and say hello to Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian, Ashley Graham, and Nicki Minaj, the ideal beauty type of full breasts, flat stomachs, tiny waists, wide hips and round butts are being celebrated. Some women even undergo risky procedures.

It won’t be long before this shapely body type is retired and a new beauty standard evolves. The question is: which body type will be next to be adored?
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