Beauty standards are a peculiar social construct that, ideally, shouldn’t exist. Nevertheless, here we are, witnessing how every decade ushers in a new ideal that everyone rushes to embrace as the ultimate standard of beauty.
In the 1950s, it was all about blonde hair and fair skin, exemplified by the iconic Marilyn Monroe. Body type was essentially inconsequential. As long as you met the basic criteria, you’d have to navigate through various hoops. Then came the 1960s, with a penchant for slender figures and adolescent bodies.
The 1980s favored sporty, curvaceous women with toned arms. The 1990s leaned towards women with translucent skin and extreme leanness.
Since the 2000s, the “perfect” woman has been envisioned as having ample breasts, a generous derriere, a rock-solid stomach, a tiny waist, thigh gaps, and flawless skin — all scientifically endorsed. Think of figures like Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, Jennifer Lopez, and others. Interestingly, the specifics of how they achieve their impeccable bodies seem secondary.
Despite the current fixation on voluptuous curves, fashion houses and modeling agencies still clamor for tall, exceptionally slender women with distinctive facial features. Consider figures like Kaia Gerber, Kim Noorda, and Olga Sherer. Many women have subjected themselves to extreme forms of body modification to attain this minuscule body size, though thankfully, there’s a growing call to reassess these standards.
But what does science say about the ideal female figure?
Researchers from the University of Texas assert that the ideal female physique aligns with twenty-first-century standards. According to them, the perfect woman stands at 1.68 meters tall, with a 99-centimeter bust, 63-centimeter waist, and 91-centimeter hips. Translated to inches, she’s 5’5″ tall with measurements of 38.9-24.8-35.8 for her bust, waist, and hips, respectively.
Enter Kelly Brooks, the English model, actress, and media personality. Known professionally as Kelly Brooks, she perfectly embodies the scientists’ description. At 40, Kelly is a global style icon, and she’s been modeling since she was just 16. In 2005, she was named FHM’s “sexiest woman alive.”
Of course, beauty is more than just measurements. It’s about confidence, personality, and inner radiance. It’s about appreciating oneself regardless of societal dictates.
In the world of modeling, Jennifer Lee, a fashion expert who worked closely with the late Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel’s renowned designer, sheds light on the selection process. Models are chosen based on their ability to showcase outfits without overshadowing them. This is why leaner figures are often preferred — they draw less attention away from the clothing.
Ultimately, beauty is abundant and diverse. Conforming to rigid and often unrealistic beauty standards would rob the world of its rich tapestry of diversity. Imagine a world where everyone adhered to one prescribed body type, skin color, or facial features — it would be a monotonous, uninspiring place. Every body type holds its own unique beauty, and women should take pride in their individuality. We’re all perfect in our own way.