As the body positivity movement continues to sweep its way through the internet feeds of so many young women, the realities of societal body expectations are still ingrained deeply into individual lives. Girls for decades have been made to feel inadequate because of their differences in shapes and sizes. The value of a woman’s body is often held to a higher standard than anything else she may possess.
The internet is undoubtedly flooded with content perpetuating such a negative culture. But historically speaking, certain women have always been heralded as having the “ideal” female body. Fitness YouTuber and entrepreneur Cassey Ho, known as “Blogilates” on the Internet, has worked for many years to create a community of healthy living and fitness lifestyle tips that does not exclude certain body types or promote a singular perfect outcome. Much of her content is about personal growth and progress, for what an individual needs to achieve in order to be healthy.
In an effort to do so she posted a series of Instagram photos on November 27, depicting the “ideal female body” throughout history
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If I had the “perfect” body throughout history, this is what I’d look like. . Mid 2010s-2018 – Big butts, wide hips, tiny waists, and full lips are in! There is a huge surge in plastic surgery for butt implants thanks to Instagram models posting “belfies”. ? Even cosmetic surgery doctors have become IG-famous for reshaping women. Between 2012-2014, butt implants and injections rise by 58%. . Mid 90s-2000s – Big boobs, flat stomachs, and thighs gaps are in. In 2010, breast augmentation is the highest performed cosmetic surgery in the United States. ? It’s the age of the Victoria’s Secret Angel. She’s tall, thin, and she’s always got long legs and a full chest. . Early 90s – THIN IS IN. Having angular bone structure, looking emaciated, and super skinny is what’s dominating the runways and the magazine covers. There’s even a name for it: “heroin chic”. . 1950s – The hourglass shape is in. ⏳ Elizabeth Taylor‘s 36-21-36 measurements are the ideal. Marilyn Monroe’s soft voluptuousness is lusted after. Women are advertised weight gaining pills to fill themselves out. Playboy magazine and Barbie are created in this decade. . 1920s – Appearing boyish, androgynous and youthful, with minimal breasts, and a straight figure is in! Unlike the “Gibson Girl” of the Victorian Era, women are choosing to hide their curves, and are doing so by binding their chests with strips of cloth to create that straight figure suitable for flapper dresses. . 1400-1700 The Italian Renaissance – Looking full with a rounded stomach, large hips, and an ample bosom is in. Being well fed is a sign of wealth and status. Only the poor are thin. . Why do we treat our bodies like we treat fashion? “Boobs are out! Butts are in!” Well, the reality is, manufacturing our bodies is a lot more dangerous than manufacturing clothes. Stop throwing your body out like it’s fast fashion. . Please treat your body with love & respect and do not succumb to the beauty standard. Embrace your body because it is YOUR own perfect body. ♥️ #blogilates #theperfectbody
“Why do we treat our bodies like we treat fashion?” she asks, providing some interesting insight into how social media culture manages to accept and reject certain ideas so quickly.
The Kardashian body is seen as the figure of the moment, but only a few years ago, women were expected to be so much smaller in the hips. It is simply unrealistic to assume that certain body types are “achievable” within realistic parameters, particularly when no such body type should be seen as better than another.
In so many ways, the issue seems tediously repeated over generations, and yet the message is still not received that things simply do not have to be the way that they are.
It is nice to see social media influencers working to build positive change, on platforms like Instagram, which can be so detrimental when it comes to projecting certain images. Particularly someone like Cassey Ho, who works in fitness, a business so often influenced by the idea of an ideal body image.
Learning to self-love and reject body stereotypes is perhaps one of the most powerful yet challenging things a woman may have to do in her lifetime, because of that, I believe we all owe a big thank you to Cassey Ho.
Featured Image via Shape