Evolution of the Perfect Female Body

Perceptions of the ideal female body shape have changed significantly over the past century and each have had their part to play in defining a decade or era.

Pressures such as media scrutiny and celebrity culture have produced a cycle of demand for women to look curvaceous then skinny and then back to curvaceous.

The start of the twentieth century saw the rise of the strong women of WW1 who were built for survival. These ladies were strong, long and lean and in stark contrast to the glamorous hourglass girls of the 1950’s. This time saw tiny waists combined with lots of cleavage and curvaceous bottoms defined by figures such as Marilyn Monroe.

We then saw this pattern repeat itself at the end of the century when Heroin Chic emerged and Kate Moss lead the way for tall and skinny girls, coining the phrase “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”.

Now, the media is dense with images of girls with tiny waists, voluptuous breasts and ‘bootylicious’ bums trying to achieve the Beyonce figure. So, will it ever be possible to achieve the ideal bodyshape?

This infograpahic created by Wentworth Clinic looks at the evolution of the bodyshapes that women typically aspired to achieve over the last century.