The beauty standards for women have gone from one extreme to the other throughout history, and the fluxuation continues to occur. In the 1500’s and classic victorian era, it was preferable to be pale in complexion and on the plumper side, because this flaunted the fact that you were a wealthier woman who did not have to work for a living, and thus from not working in the sun, you would desire a paler complexion. During the Victorian Era, the standards changed to women who were fair looking, but had tiny waistlines. Corsets became popular, and I bet the term “beauty is pain” was most likely derived during this time period, because some women would even end up breaking ribs while striving for a thinner waistline.
When the roaring 20’s came around, less clothes, less hair, boyish body figure, and more makeup became the fashion fad with the coming of the flappers. During the 1930’s and 40’s which have now been labeled Hollywood’s Golden Age, women began to watch what they ate in order to achieve a thin, streamline body type. It was during this Golden Age, that women began to opt for colored foundation rather than a foundation that would make them paler, the “Golden Age” really became a golden tan.
By the 1950’s the whole housewife craze was back in, and though women aimed to be luringly curvaceous like Marilyn Monroe and other actresses to attract a man, women were supposed to be up kept and never look sloppy, and not showing much skin. The 1960’s hit, and thus began the trend for stick thin skinny like famous model Twiggy. The 1970’s reinforced the stick thin trend of the 1960’s, and it was in the 70’s that this fashion trend hit the hardest. Women strove to be skinny. The 70’s also brought the tan beach body look, and bronzers became commonplace. The 1980’s stressed fitness with the whole aerobics craze that some of use look back at our mother’s pictures and wonder what they were thinking. And by fitness, this meant skinny, but toned, however without being considered muscular.
The 1990’s were summarized by even less clothes and tan thin bodies. The 2000’s until present day represent and even more drastic scale of the 90’s, with the coveted and overall impossible strive for a thin but fit body. Although we have more leeway currently concerning what an acceptable body for a woman is, there is still the preferable thin streamline body type that most women would prefer to obtain.
A new shift that might be seen in more prevalence as the years continue, is the transition back into a curvier standard. Pop artists like Nikki Minaj, Megan Trainor, and even Beyonce all are amply allotted women in the areas of breasts and booty. One of Trainor’s lyrics even ventures to say that “Boys like a little more booty to hold at night,” contradicting the necessity for a “beauty skinny yet busty photoshopped model” body like popular magazines like People or Seventeen would suggest. And so in that sense, media is fighting media on what should be the beauty standard, because ladies have begun to realize that the beauty expectations have become utterly ridiculous and impossible to achieve.