How the Ideal Women’s Body Shape Has Changed

How the Ideal Women’s Body Shape Has Changed

I know this is a crazy busy week for everyone, but if you have the chance I strongly recommend you check out this blog post! It sums up a lot of what we’ve been talking about in class, and although its not as professional as some other sources I think it’s great that it shows women from around the country are recognizing the same issues that we are. Three keys points I want to highlight are 1) The differences in what was considered a woman’s ideal body throughout the last century 2) what the actual BMI was for an average American woman at each of these times and 3) the issue of the ’20s and ’60s not fitting with the trend.. Just because it wasn’t in the main part of the article I want to expand a little on the third point. The hypothesis of the author is that women in these decades had made great gain for women, and because they were trying to move forward from the idea that women were only the homemakers and child bearers did not want to be seen in the light of large breasts and wide hips.

Gender-blurring fashion

Gender-blurring fashion

This is one of my favourite androgynous models, Omahyra Mota. I really love the concept of androgynous modeling, but I draw my line when it’s for clothing that makes it almost impossible for women with curves to pull off, like Andrej Pejic’s modeling for women’s clothing.

Unrealistic Proportions

Unrealistic Proportions

So I was very intrigued by our discussion today on Andrej Pejic and how he models women’s clothing. The disturbing things for me is NOT that he is a man modeling women’s clothing.. it’s WHY he fits the description so well. Andrej is indeed very tiny, and as a man he has no breasts. His face is defined by beautiful bone structure, and is devoid of all excess flesh that might get in the way of seeing that. While he is truly striking it frustrates me that this is the mold the high end fashion industry is proclaiming women should fit. If I may be blunt, there is NO FREAKING WAY my body could ever biologically be that tiny! I understand that I am not fat, and in reality am quite slim, but I can feel the bones in my hips.. They flare out creating an hour glass shape. There is no possible way my hips could get any smaller because my very bones are that wide. And you know what? I like it! (Okay, I’m getting a little side tracked here…) I guess my biggest frustration is that the industry is setting an example that honestly is unhealthy for the vast majority of women. We have breasts and hips and thighs and butts! Many of us will never be able to achieve even remotely the thinness of Andrej, and yet it is this absolutely unrealistic body type that we choose to represent women in the clothing industry! Through my disbelief (and frustration) in this I have begun to see with more empathy how many girls must feel about the pageant industry… Hmm.. Food for thought!

Confidence is Key

This is a video I found through the Dove Campaign. I think it sends a great message about how women perceive themselves. This video opened my eyes up to how important it is to carry yourself confidently through your personal and professional life.

Distorted Self Perception

Distorted Self Perception

So this weekend was my little sister’s homecoming dance. I went home to be there with her, help her primp, offer advice, and take the customary homecoming photos with her. However once she saw pictures of herself, all she could say was; “I look hideous! I look so fat and ugly!” So I decided to post this photo of us together in the hopes of getting more unbiased feedback. Because when I look at this picture I see myself, with a beautiful young woman (and I don’t know if I’m biased as her sister?) But I do know for a fact that she is NOT fat nor hideous. I guess what I’m trying to say is how sad it makes me when girls compare themselves to each other, or worse to celebrities, or when all they see when they look at themselves are their percieved flaws. I know I’m guilty of all those things. I just wish that the pressures and influences of society were less appearance based. I wish the media would use their influence to inspire people to be hard workers, good people, and to spread positivity instead of convincing us that there is always something wrong with us, and we should strive to fit an impossible standard of perfect physical womanhood.

Pretty is a Set of Skills

A recent article on Jezebel discusses the fact that “pretty is a set of skills“. It discusses the different ways that conforming to a certain idea of pretty requires understanding and skill with fashion, hair, and make-up. The one idea that is implied throughout, but that is never stated outright, is also the idea the pretty is a significant financial investment.

We will discuss more of this idea when we discuss the body in a few weeks.