Beauty Standards: Ancient Egypt

In this era, the ideal woman is described as:

  • Slender
  • Narrow Shoulders
  • High Waist
  • Symmetrical Face

In Ancient Egypt, women were encouraged in their independence and beauty. Ancient Egyptian society promoted an environment where premarital sex was entirely acceptable and women could divorce their husbands without shame.

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Beauty Standards: See How Body Types Change Through History

scienceofpeople.com

During this time period, the ideal woman was:

  • Plump
  • Full-bodied
  • Light Skin

Ancient Greece worshiped the male form, going so far as to proclaim that women’s bodies were ‘disfigured’ versions of men’s. In this time period, men faced a much higher standard of beauty and perfection than women.

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In this time period, the ideal woman had:

  • Slim Waist
  • Pale Skin
  • Large Eyes
  • Small Feet

Small feet is one aspect of Chinese beauty that has continued for hundreds of years. During the Han Dynasty, Chinese culture favored slim women with long black hair, white teeth, and red lips. Historically, the Chinese people have favored women with ultra-femininity.

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Beauty Standards: Italian Renaissance

In this era, the ideal woman is described as having:

  • Ample Bosom
  • Rounded Stomach
  • Full Hips
  • Fair Skin

During the Italian Renaissance, it was the wife’s duty to reflect her husband’s status, both in behavior and outward appearance. A full body, light hair, and light skin all were thought of as the superior indications of beauty.

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This time period featured beautiful women as:

  • Desirably Plump
  • Full-figured
  • Cinched-waist

This is the era of the corset. In this time period, women cinched their waists with tight-fitting undergarments to give the perception of the desirable hourglass figure. This time period lasted through the reign of Queen Victoria, considered by many as one of the most influential figures of the time.

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Beauty Standards: Roaring Twenties

In this time period, the ideal woman had:

  • Flat Chest
  • Downplayed Waist
  • Short Bob Hairstyle
  • Boyish Figure

Beauty in the 1920s featured an androgynous look for women. They wore bras that flattened their chest and wore clothing that gave them a curve-less look. Women even shortened their hair, leaving behind the long-held belief that long hair signified beauty and desirability.

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In this era, the ideal woman is described as having:

  • Curves
  • Hourglass Figure
  • Large Breasts
  • Slim Waist

The hourglass figure is back. The classic example of this ideal woman’s body is Marilyn Monroe, the Golden Girl of Hollywood.

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This time period adored this female look:

  • Willowy
  • Thin
  • Long, slim Legs
  • Adolescent Physique

Peace, love, and thin seemed to be the motto of ideal beauty for women in the 1960s. “Swinging London,” a term used to describe the flourishing fashion and cultural scene of London in the 1960s, influenced women’s dress and style in America during the same period.

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The Supermodel Era (c. 1980s)

This era celebrated this body type:

  • Athletic
  • Svelte, but Curvy
  • Tall
  • Toned Arms

This time period brought about an exercise-crazed phenomenon. Workout videos were all the rage, encouraging women to be thin, but also fit. This era also saw an upswing in anorexia, thought by some experts to be caused by a widespread obsession with exercise.

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The ideal body type of this time period featured:

  • Waifish
  • Extremely Thin
  • Translucent Skin
  • Androgynous

The celebrated body of this time period was a woman who looked thin, frail and neglected. Model Kate Moss was the heroine of this heroin decade–pale, withdrawn and thin.

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Our current beauty standards for women include:

  • Flat Stomach
  • ‘Healthy’ Skinny
  • Large Breasts + Butt
  • Thigh Gap

Kim Kardashian is the poster woman of ideal beauty standards for the modern woman. Women are expected to be skinny, but not too skinny, with large breasts and a big butt, all while maintaining a flat stomach. Women increasingly are seeking plastic surgery ‘fixes’ to achieve this look.

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