What we believe to be the perfect woman body has changed tremendously throughout history along with the woman’s stages and her role in society.
In 1720 in Western Europe
Women were supposed to have over proportionally wide hips and a large behind, which was achieved thanks to structures installed under the dresses, the other element of an aesthetically pleasing silhouette was a tiny waist The higher your social status, the thinner your waist had to be. The part of the torso below the rib cage was compressed to reach the ideal measurement of 17 inches, the waist of the queen of France, whose hairstyle was as ridiculously high as her waist was tiny.
In the middle of the 19th century
A beautiful woman had fallen shoulders, her rib cage was compressed by a corset and her hips were wider than her shoulder line. This silhouette illustrates the total absence of any physical activity. Towards 1890, shoulders go up, the compression of the waist is a bit lower and the hips are the wider than they were mid-century. The evolution of the ideal silhouette is in fact much more visible from the side, it’s a very large bust that the back can barely support The Spine is curved and generates tremendous back pain issues, the weight is in the bust and in the behind, which means a very unbalanced and healthy body.
Women start to loosen their corsets, which makes the body healthier in general. The start of the century also sees sports come into fashion. This corresponds to people longing for more freedom of movement, and this will remain a priority for the next hundred years. However, a large, decorated bust is still appreciated among upper-class citizens.
In the 1920s
Women reject corsets as well as the clothing rules of the previous century altogether. The ideal silhouette is now long and lean, almost boyish. Women bind their breasts tight to flatten them out, and they wear boxy dresses that hide their feminine waists. Women can party, live alone, show their legs and wear outrageous makeup and shiny outfits. She’s looking for a job that is, and she’s dressed for it, too. Tastefully, not expensively, the receptionist wears a smart wool dress with a zippered plunge neckline.
She can see the pats pin-dot jersey. Peter pan collar and side-swept beret make her a likely candidate. At the end of the war, women have been missing nice clothes and want to be able to look feminine again. They rushed onto the new look offered by newcomer, Christian Dior. A natural fitted waist, exaggerated hips achieved by padding the clothes, and pointy breasts, up high on the torso. This is achieved by wearing a bra, the corset of the 20th century. Women are expected to care for their appearance and be exemplary housewives.
In the 60s
The new Post-War generation initiates a shift towards a slightly more Androgynous Silhouettes. Women now wear pants with a high waist and bell bottoms together, with Jersey tops and sweater that can stretch and can, therefore, be award fitted. The 60s silhouette is quite close to our ideal today. A sudden shift takes place in the 90s Kate Moss and other new models have an extremely thin silhouette, are underweight and have virtually no curves. The ideal woman is supposed to look like those models from the grunge era.
In the decade 2010
Curves are back in trend, but with a flat belly and a thigh gap. As the ideal silhouette is almost impossible to reach naturally, celebrities like Kim Kardashian, go back to wearing Corsets and are drawn to surgery to add volume to their breasts and their behinds. Now how do you think the ideal body will look like in ten years from now?