Visual Timeline of Body Image

Visual Timeline of Body Image

by Rakhee Bhatt

Body Ideals From the 20th Century to Now

As the saying goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. However, with the constant stream of seemingly flawless and filtered social media images, there’s no denying that finding a sense of authenticity in that beauty is a challenge that can affect how the scroll-friendly public views themselves.

“I’ve worked with women who are models and celebrities who seem perfect, and they look in the mirror and see the same issues that the rest of us do,” says Dr. Alice Domar, the Executive Director of the Domar Center for Mind/Body Health and Director of Mind/Body Services at Boston IVF. “It’s very sad to me that there are so many beautiful people out there who look in the mirror and all they see are their flaws. In the ‘60s, Twiggy was the first thin model that epitomized the new body image. If you look back at Marilyn Monroe, who was a sex symbol in the ‘50s, she is what we would consider now to be a size 12. She was curvy, she had flesh, and she was considered sexy. Now, I think the average model is 5’11” and weighs 117 pounds, and only a tiny percentage of women in this country are physiologically capable of reaching that.”

Here, we take a look at 11 icons whose images have set the standards for body ideals over the years.

Visual Timeline of Body Image
Marilyn Monroe
Visual Timeline of Body Image
Sophia Loren
Visual Timeline of Body Image
Twiggy
Visual Timeline of Body Image
Cindy Crawford
Visual Timeline of Body Image
Kate Moss
Visual Timeline of Body Image
Jennifer Lopez
Visual Timeline of Body Image
Gisele Bündchen
Visual Timeline of Body Image
Beyoncé
Visual Timeline of Body Image
Kim Kardashian
Visual Timeline of Body Image
Michelle Obama
Visual Timeline of Body Image
Amy Schumer

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