First Idea

Body Stereotypes & Standards : Past to Present

Think back to Marilyn Monroe, she was labeled as the most beautiful women in the 1950s world and had the curves to match, but if she had started her career today Hollywood agencies wouldn’t give her the time of day. Why is that you may ask, just like I have, it is because of the ever evolving society around us and their idea of the “perfect body”.

Image result for marilyn monroe curves
Marilyn Monroe modeling her hour-glass figure in a 1950s bathing suit advertisement.

The standards that society holds for women today to have the cookie-cutter model body is entirely different than the look people used to strive for 80 years ago. This is partially due to the younger generation and who they have to look up to for body images, but it goes much deeper than that. On a psychological level, why is everyone listening to other people on how their body should look?

Magazines, social media, and celebrities are giving unrealistic body images to teenage girls who are trying to find their voice in this loud world and it is only making the problem worse. According to a survey taken by adolescent girl’s number one wish, if they could have anything in the world, would be, “to lose weight, and keep it off.” 83% of these girls read trending magazines daily, and this is where they are getting these body goals from. It is 10 times more likely there is an advertisement for the next best weight loss pill, or diet, or workout plan in these magazines than they are in any men’s magazines out there.

Model Woman
Just how unrealistic are these goals? The average American women’s height and weight as opposed to the the average model’s numbers. 

There are so many shortcuts and aids nowadays that illustrate “How to Become Slim in… Days”, and that’s just one example. But with hundreds of weight loss pills, thousands of diet plans, and millions of workouts to do paired with our fast-paced society it becomes difficult to steer away from the “quick fix” to weight loss.

There is a difference between dreams and reality just like there is a difference between aspirations and goals. You can aspire to look like those women in the magazines and on social media, but that should never be your goal because it is simply fanciful and idealistic.

final body 1
“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” – Aristotle

Our bodies are forever changing, living, breathing, walking pieces of art and everyone should be more confident in that.



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