Ideal Women Overtime: beauty models of all times

Here is a very good article in giving us a glance about our ideal beauty model overtime. It shows us what are the beauty trends from the last centuries,from which we can see how the society’s perceptions about women beauty have changed.

The Ideal Woman Through the Ages: Photos

Author: News Discovery



Venus and Adonis by Peter Paul Rubens, 1635

Today, “Rubenesque” is a polite way to say “big” or “plus-sized.” Peter Paul Rubens painted portraits of full-figured women in the early 1600s, inspired by his second wife, 16-year-old Hélène Fourment.


Gibson Girl, 1897

“In the late 19th century, the emphasis was really on women’s facial features,” said Joan Jacobs Brumberg, a historian who wrote “The Body Project: An Intimate History of American Girls.”

“The bosom was noticed in the 19th century but not with too much cleavage.” Women wore corsets, and the Gibson Girls showed off slender waists. Ankles, also, were highly sexualized.

Photo: Von Charles Dana Gibson: Aus dem Jahre


Flapper Girls, 1929

Around World War I, with the advent of movies, the body begins to be emphasized as much, or more, than the face.

“Fashion has changed so that a slim silhouette in a chemise is ideal, and matronly seems old fashioned. Women are dancing and doing sports, and they are no longer infatuated with the Victorian ideal of being frail and sickly,” Brumberg said.

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Marilyn Monroe, 1955

After WWII, technology started changing the way beauty was perceived: bathrooms with electric lights and mirrors highlighted concerns about acne and formerly overlooked details, Brumberg said. Corsets replace girdles, and bra cups became extremely pointed.

Actress Marilyn Monroe was perceived as the epitome of beauty in the 50s. There’s been much speculation about her size and weight. Was she really a plus-sized beauty, asks this piece in Jezebel which dug up the actress’s actual dress size numbers.

Photo: Actress Marilyn Monroe on the set of “The Seven Year Itch,” directed by Billy Wilder in 1955.


Betty Page, 1955

In 1955, Betty Page won the title “Miss Pinup Girl of the World.”

She was known as “The Queen of Curves” and “The Dark Angel.”

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Twiggy, 1966

“It wasn’t just feminists who burned bras,” Brumberg said. “Bras and underwear changed. The body becomes something for you to control from the inside, through diet and exercise, instead of exterior control through the corset. Different body parts get attention in different ways.”

Model and actress Twiggy personified the swinging 60s mod culture in London. Twiggy was known for her androgynous looks, large eyes and short hair. In 1966, she was named “The Face of 1966” by the Daily Express and voted British Woman of the Year.


Christie Brinkley, 1987

When Allure magazine conducted a poll on beauty in 1990, Christie Brinkley embodied the all-American look, landing her on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition three times.

When Allure did a similar survey in 2010, attitudes had changed: 69 percent of respondents no longer believed in a single “all-American” look. Women and men picked a Latina model as most attractive among pictures of different races and ethnicities.

Photo: Christie Brinkley Sighting in London – July 12, 1987


Michelle Obama, 2012

“Michelle Obama is very much about health and mobility and activity and strength,” Brumberg said. “People may say she looks hot, but really they’re saying she’s an icon for the women’s health movement.”

Obama’s body suggests healthy eating, she notes, whereas today’s fashion magazines still portray more emaciated bodies.

Ideal Women Overtime: beauty models of all times

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